Everton defender John Stones is looking ‘increasingly likely’ to become Pep Guardiola’s first signing in charge of Manchester City, according to the Daily Mail.
City were expected to face intense interest from Chelsea, who had three bids rejected for Stones last summer, to sign the England international but reports in the Mail suggest that the London-based club are resigned to losing the head-to-head battle.
Rumours about City’s interest in the 21-year-old have intensified in recent months after this season’s defensive woes, but reports also emerged earlier this week that the Sky Blues had ‘agreed’ a deal to sign Athletic Bilbao centre-half Aymeric Laporte in the summer.
The Citizens are expected to sign just one of the two targets and fans will be left guessing as to who their marquee summer signing will be.
Since breaking into the first team at Goodison Park, Stones has made 66 appearances and cemented his place in the centre of their defence.
The ex-Barnsley man is also very versatile and has impressed whilst playing at right-back for England on multiple occasions under Roy Hodgson.
The youngster, who has also been linked with moves to Manchester United and Barcelona, will reportedly cost City in the region of £45m – just £3m more than Chelsea’s final bid for Stones last summer.