By Tom Blackburn
Pep Guardiola is set to offer a spectacular £40million bid for John Stones, according to a report.
The Sun claim Manchester City will go straight into talks with an offer that is in line to smash Everton’s record transfer fee.
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.
Football Insider reported on Wednesday morning that well-connected sports broadcaster Alan Brazil expects Stones to complete a transfer to Man City this summer.
Brazil was speaking on talkSPORT to co-host Ray Parlour about the increasing speculation surrounding the England international.
In his round-up of the main transfer stories, Parlour said: “There are lots of reports about Stone and Man City. You heard that a few weeks ago, didn’t you Al?”
Brazil replied: “It’s done, all done. That’s what I heard.”
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.
But Everton are resigned to losing their prize asset, who is almost certain to have communicated his intention to quit to club chiefs.
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.
In other Everton news, new goalkeeper Marteen Stekeleburg has shared his targets for this season.