By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens
Everton are ready to sign Wilfried Bony as a £15million makeweight in the deal that sends John Stones to Manchester City, according to a report.
The Sun claim Goodison manager Ronald Koeman is willing to give the green light to a move for the City striker as part of a player-plus-cash exchange for Stones.
It is said that the Manchester City have offered Bony to Everton in a bid to break the deadlock in negotiations over the transfer of Stones and that the striker’s arrival on Merseyside is imminent.
Sky Sports have claimed on their website that Everton are standing firm on their £50million valuation of the England international following weeks of negotiations.
Bony only joined City for £28m from Swansea in January 2015 but has notched just six Premier League goals in that time and found it difficult to make the starting line-up, where his path has been blocked by Sergio Aguero.
Nevertheless, the 27-year-old Ivory Coast international has Premier League pedigree, scoring 32 goals and supplying 10 assists in 90 matches in the competition.
City have been open in their pursuit of Stones.
“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.”
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.
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 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.