Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has admitted for the first time that he is interested in signing Everton defender John Stones with the Catalan also providing an update on Leroy Sane.
The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss watched his side secure a penalty shoot-out victory against Borussia Dortmund in China on Thursday but was aggrieved when Sergio Agüero’s opener was cancelled out in added time by Christian Pulisic.
After already confirming deals for İlkay Gündoğan, Nolito, Oleksandr Zinchenko and Aaron Mooy earlier this summer, Guardiola was quizzed on the prospects of adding Stones and Sane to his ranks as City’s spending approaches £100m.
“Sane is a player from Schalke. If he comes, we’ll be happy. If he stays, I’ll be happy for the Schalke fans,” Guardiola told reporters. “[In Stones’ case,] it’s the same answer for Sane – he’s a player for Everton. Everyone knows we’re going to try but we will see.”
Reports suggest City are growing increasingly confident of luring Stones away from Goodison Park for a fee in the region of £42m despite the Merseyside club hoping to push the deal beyond £50m in the coming weeks.
Schalke, meanwhile, appear resigned to losing attacking midfielder Sane, 20, but the two clubs are yet to agree a financial package. The Bundesliga club are believed to want up to £40m but the Etihad hierarchy have yet to reach that figure in negotiations.
Elsewhere, Palmeiras striker Gabriel Jesus, part of the Brazil squad for the Rio Olympics, is another player who could also cost in excess of £20m as Guardiola continues his overhaul of the squad he inherited from Manuel Pellegrini last month.
City face Arsenal in their final pre-season friendly next weekend before the Premier League opener at home against David Moyes’ Sunderland on 13 August.