Manchester City have changed their tune as it appears they are now willing to meet, and possibly exceed, Everton’s £50 million asking price for young defender John Stones, according to the Mirror.
This would be a cash only deal. Earlier in the week, there was talk of Pep Guardiola and company willing to pony up about £20 million and a player in order to lure Stones to Manchester. But it seems that the Toffees decision makers were unimpressed with the offer.
It had also previously been reported that City did not wish to go past the £40 million that Chelsea is rumored to have offered last summer, but there has been some sort of development within the last two days. The article says that Everton’s new shareholder Farhad Moshiri was steadfast in his determination to get what he perceives Stones to be worth and the Citizens have given in.
The most City has ever paid for a player was the £54.5 million they spent on Belgian midfielder Kevin De Bruyne when they bought him from Wolfsburg last year. If this story is to be believed, it seems quite possible that Stones will surpass that amount or at least come very close.
Everton are scheduled to play a friendly with Barnsley, Stones’ former club, on Saturday, but the centerback won’t take part. However, that is not because of an impending deal, but rather because Stones has some sort of minor injury that he is nursing.
As we mentioned a few days ago, Everton and new gaffer Ronald Koeman do not wish to draw out Stones’ transfer process. If the player wants to go and the team can get sufficient funds in return, then he will go. It appears that things are falling into place here and it’s likely that Stones is sold sometime in the next week. And with Everton now having the new Director of Football Steve Walsh appointed, one would hope the moves come thick and fast now for the boys in blue. We shall see.