Manchester City have made significant progress in their pursuit of John Stones, according to reports today.
Virtually every back page this morning is carrying the same story, that Stone is set to become the most expensive English player ever in the coming days when he completes his move from Everton.
The BBC have reported that while no deal is yet in place between the two clubs, a formal agreement is not far off – and the £50m that Everton are demanding will be near enough the final fee.
The 22-year-old has been the subject of Premier League interest before. Chelsea lodged several bids last summer – the highest of which was though to be around £38m – and despite Stones handing a transfer request, Everton refused to sell.
To that end, it was always likely that he would be leaving Goodison Park this year, though the Toffees are making sure he does so at a premium.
While the reports state that Stones is the primary target, Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola will assess the ongoing fitness of Vincent Kompany before deciding whether or not to make another move for Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci. The Premier League side have already had one bid rejected for the Italian international, and is thought to be close to signing a new contract, but Guardiola would have no qualms about spending £50m on a second centre back if he deems it necessary.
Stones is also (assuming the deal is negotiated quickly) unlikely to be the only new face at Manchester City in the next few weeks or so. The transfers of Leroy Sané, Gabriel Jesus and Marlos Moreno are all at varying stages of negotiation, but could all be wrapped up by the end of the week.
Everton, meanwhile, are set to lose out on their preferred replacement for Stones, as Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly inches ever closer to a move to Chelsea.