By Harvey Byrne
Manchester City are close to resolving the John Stones saga after resurrecting collapsed talks with Everton, according to a report.
The Mirror claims that the Etihad club are edging ever closer to meeting the Toffees’ asking price for the England defender, after a positive breakthrough in negotiations.
The deal was said to have stalled after Everton’s new owner Farhad Moshiri told the Manchester club that he would not come to the negotiating table until the bidding had got past £50million.
However, talks have been revived in the past 48 hours and it seems there is now a reach chance of a deal being struck between the two clubs, with City prepared to go beyond the £50million barrier to ensure they capture the centre-half.
If the Toffees were to sell Stones for £50+million, it would demolish 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.
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.
In other Everton transfer news, Swansea are keen on holding on to Gylfi Sigurdsson and will offer him a new contract.