Man City approach Everton for Stones

John Stones

John Stones joined Everton from Barnsley for £3m in January 2013

Manchester City are in talks with Everton over the possible signing of England defender John Stones.

A deal is yet to be agreed but it is thought the two Premier League clubs are not far apart in their valuations.

It is thought City will pay about £50m to sign the 22-year-old former Barnsley player, who came close to joining Chelsea last summer.

Stones was part of the England squad at Euro 2016 but did not feature as they were knocked out in the last 16.

He made his debut for Barnsley in March 2012, 10 months before joining Everton for £3m.

City boss Pep Guardiola has identified the Yorkshireman as the kind of central defender who fits his approach to the game.

“Normally central defenders are strong in the air and aggressive,” said Guardiola on Wednesday.

“But we need to have a good build-up to create easy passes in the midfield so they can create good passes for the strikers. I believe when the ball goes from the central defender to the striker as quickly as possible, it comes as quickly as possible back.

“That is why the players in that area need quality. By 31 August we will have the right squad to play how we want.”

Guardiola used midfielders Javier Mascherano and Javi Martinez as central defenders while managing Barcelona and Bayern Munich respectively.

And the Spaniard has identified a City midfielder who could step into the back four if required.

“Fernandinho can play in 10 positions,” he said.

“He is quick, fast, intelligent, aggressive. He is strong in the air and has the quality to play good build-up, can go right or left and can pass long.”

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