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City have re-opened talks over star defender

Stones still a target for Guardiola

Everton v Manchester City - Premier League
John Stones takes on Sergio Aguero
Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Pep Guardiola still desperately wants Everton defender John Stones at the Etihad this upcoming season.

Manchester City have not been scared off by the Toffees’ £50m valuation of the young England center back. Everton have already rejected one £40m bid for the player, and the Daily Mail is now reporting that the Mancunians are hoping that the Blues will meet halfway at about £46-47m.

It has been rumored that City had offered Everton money plus Wilfried Bony, but the Goodison Park side summarily rejected that option and wanted straight cash.

City have already been rebuffed in their approach for Italian star defender Leonardo Bonucci, and Guardiola is still looking for a ball-playing defender to anchor his side. Neither captain Vincent Kompany nor £42m defender Eliaquim Mangala is the right player for that role. He has not ruled out using central midfielders like Fernandinho and Fernando in that spot either.

Everton are under no compulsion to accept anything less than £50m from City, unless the rumored move for Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli really does have legs. If Stones does leave then Ronald Koeman is going to need an experienced back up for the central defensive pairing of Phil Jagielka and Ramiro Funes Mori.