Manchester City reportedly plan to offer striker Wilfried Bony as a makeweight in their bid for Everton star John Stones.
Stones’ club future is back on the agenda following England’s Euro 2016 exit and new City boss Pep Guardiola is understood to have set his sights on the Everton centre-half as he looks to improve on the back-line he inherited from Manuel Pellegrini.
However, the Manchester club are unwilling to match Everton’s reported £45million asking price for the 22-year-old and reports say they could instead offer former Swansea man Bony and a further £20million.
It remains to be seen if Everton will be tempted by the offer, however, as new boss Ronald Koeman is keen to retain Romelu Lukaku and if the Belgian does stay at Goodison Park, the offer of Bony as part of a Stones bid will be less attractive.
Lukaku is currently with Belgium at Euro 2016 and all transfer talks regarding the striker are on hold, with Real Madrid, Chelsea, Juventus and Manchester United among the clubs said to be tracking the Everton star.
If Lukaku does remain on Merseyside, City may yet relent and match Stones’ valuation, especially if the likes of Chelsea or Manchester United make rival moves, but this could well be a transfer saga that runs throughout the summer with Everton prepared to dig their heels in yet again.