By Tom Blackburn
John Stones has told Everton that he wants to quit the club, according to a report.
Football Insider reported last week that Man City were set to offer £40million for the highly rated England youngster.
The Liverpool Echo claim that Stones has now the club he wants to leave, and the Blues defender hopes a move to the Etihad Stadium can gather pace this week.
The report says that Stones wishes to begin his pre-season training with Man City.
If the club were to sell Stones for £40+million, it would be a huge transfer record at the club.
The highest sum Everton have received was £27million when Maroanne Fellaini joined Manchester United in 2013, while their record outlay is the £28million spent to entice Romelu Lukaku from Chelsea 12 months later.
Chelsea made three bids for Stones last summer of up to £35million, but new City boss Pep Guardiola has earmarked the 22-year-old as a key part of his revolution and is willing to meet the Goodison Park club’s demands.
Barcelona and Manchester United have also been chasing the England centre-back, but City are reportedly confident that their willingness to spend so big has effectively made it a one horse race.
The centre-back still has three years left on his current deal after joining from Barnsley in the 2013 January transfer window for £2million.
Stones has shown flashes of potential throughout a tumultuous season for Everton, playing in 41 games in all competitions but he did not figure for England at Euro 2016 after being omitted in favour of Chris Smalling and Gary Cahill.
Toffees fans may have cause for concern though if the 10-time England capped defender was to move on as it would leave just two experienced central defenders at the club, Phil Jagielka and Ramiro Funes Mori.