Manchester City are close to agreeing a deal with Everton over England international, John Stones, 22.
The central defender is pivotal to Pep Guardiola’s defensive plans this summer and the Spaniard has become frustrated with the protracted negotiations over the fee. Everton are demanding more than the £50m with which City opened talks.
Stones has already told Everton boss Ronald Koeman that he wants to leave Goodison Park and the Dutchman is looking at Sunderland’s giant centre back, Lamine Kone, 27, as a potential replacement.
The Black Cats recently appointed former Everton boss David Moyes as manager and with the Scot on good terms with the Everton board, the Toffees believe that a £14m deal can be completed quickly.
Chelsea have stolen a march on Koeman’s preferred target, Kalidou Koulibaly, 25, of Napoli. The Blues have lodged a £38m bid for the defender and talks are set to begin between the two clubs.
Whilst hopeful that Stones will still join, Guardiola is working on a back-up plan. Defensive midfielder Fernandinho, 31, is working in pre-season training as a centre back with the Spaniard keen to add depth internally.
Concerns over 30 year-old Vincent Kompany’s fitness remain with the Belgian captain becoming increasing injury-prone during recent seasons.
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