Sunday 23 July 2017

Everton's John Stones has emerged as Pep Guardiola's top Man City target - reports

John Stones is a target for Manchester City
John Stones is a target for Manchester City

Samuel Lovett

John Stones has emerged as one of Manchester City’s top targets as Pep Guardiola prepares his side for the new season, according to Spanish newspaper Marca.

As one of the highest-rated young defenders in England and Europe, Stones has already been subject to a number of transfer bids.

Everton rejected a lucrative offer from Chelsea last summer but it remains unclear whether the Toffees will be able to hold onto the 22-year-old as City become the next club to eye up the defender.

Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United have also expressed their interest in the defender and, according to the Daily Star, are expected to engage in a £50m battle with City to sign Stones.

Given United have already secured defender Eric Bailly, Guardiola will be desperately looking to strengthen City's own back-line which has been blighted by injuries and inconsistency.

The lack of form of Eliaquim Mangala and Nicolas Otamendi, coupled with Vincent Kompany’s reoccurring injury, has hindered City’s defence throughout the season.

Stones would make an ideal candidate to reinforce the Manchester defence and help boost City’s title challenge.

The club were unsuccessful in their pursuit of Athletic Bilbao’s Aymeric Laporte but have already begun assembling what fans hope will be a Premier League winning side.

Ilkay Gundogan became the first signing for the club after joining from Borussia Dortmund in a £21m deal.

City have also recently made moves on Celta Vigo’s Nolito. The forward, who has starred in Spain’s Euro 2016 campaign, is reported to have a £13.8m release clause.

Independent News Service

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