Saturday 1 October 2016

City poised to make Stones the world's most expensive defender

Jamie Holland

Published 15/07/2016 | 02:30

The former Bayern Munich boss last week spoke of his concerns surrounding the fitness issues of captain Vincent Kompany. Photo: Peter Byrne/PA Wire
The former Bayern Munich boss last week spoke of his concerns surrounding the fitness issues of captain Vincent Kompany. Photo: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

Pep Guardiola has moved to make the biggest signing of his reign as Manchester City manager with a deal for Everton's John Stones edging closer.

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The former Bayern Munich boss last week spoke of his concerns surrounding the fitness issues of captain Vincent Kompany and with the heart of City's defence having been rocked by Kompany's absence last season, Guardiola needs cover both for next season and in the long-term future.

The fee is believed to be in excess of £50millon which would make the 22-year-old the most expensive centre-back in world football, eclipsing the £50m which Paris Saint-Germain paid Chelsea for David Luiz in 2014.

With their city rivals United already having splashed out on several summer deals, Stones' arrival at City would see him join former Borussia Dortmund midfielder Ilkay Gundogan and Celta Vigo striker Nolito as new arrivals at the Etihad.

Record

One young player definitely on his way out of Merseyside is Jordan Ibe who has completed his £15m move from Liverpool to Bournemouth.

The England U-21 international becomes a club record signing for The Cherries and has travelled to Chicago to link-up with his new team-mates.

With the signing of the 20-year-old, Bournemouth have smashed their previous transfer record of £9million for former Wolves striker Benik Afobe.

Ibe, who has four England U-21 appearances to his name, had signed a new five-year deal with the Reds last May but with the recent arrival of Sadio Mane and the failure to secure a regular starting place under Jurgen Klopp, the winger looks to further his career at the Vitality Stadium.

The wide man came through the youth system at Wycombe Wanderers, with whom he made his full league debut at the age of 15, before joining Liverpool in 2011.

Ibe made 58 appearances for Liverpool after his first-team debut at the end of the 2012-'13 season.

Irish Independent

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