By Alex Stevens
John Stones is on the brink of completing a transfer from Everton to Manchester City, according to a report.
Sky Sports claimed on their transfer centre blog on Tuesday morning (9.46am) that the deal is close to being announced by both clubs.
It is said that confirmation could come in the 24 hours but almost certainly before the end of the week.
This comes after Uefa published the Man City squad for the two-legged clash against Steaua Bucharest on Tuesday morning and Stones was listed as the number 24 in Pep Guardiola’s squad even though he is still an Everton player.
— John Bennett (@JohnBennettBBC) August 9, 2016
Stones’ name was published on the list along with new signings Nolito and Leroy Sane and the regular members of the Manchester club’s roster.
City take on Steaua Bucharest in the Champions League play-off round, with the first leg in Romania on Wednesday, 17 August.
Sky Sports claimed last week on their website that the Toffees have told City that they won’t budge on their £50million valuation of their star defender.
It is said two clubs have been in talks for weeks over a move to Etihad Stadium for Stones.
A £50million fee would comfortably be a new record for the Toffees and would demolish their previous transfer records.
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 £37million, but new City boss Guardiola has earmarked the youngster as a key part of his revolution and is willing to meet the Goodison Park club’s demands.
“Everyone knows we are going to try,” said Guardiola, when asked about Stones and as quoted by the BBC Sport website. “We will see what happens.”
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 showed flashes of potential throughout a tumultuous season for Everton in 2015-16, 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 will hope Everton move to sign a replacement if he does go, as it would leave just two experienced central defenders at the club, Phil Jagielka and Ramiro Funes Mori.
In other Everton transfer news, the Toffees are expected to return to Swansea with a new and improved offer of £15million for Ashley Williams.