By Alex Taylor
Manchester City have told Everton that they are not willing to budge on their £40million valuation of 22-year-old centre-back John Stones, according to a report.
The Mirror claim that City, who have already had a £40million bid for the England defender turned down by the Toffees, are not willing to raise their offer to match the Merseysiders’ £50m valuation.
The highest sum the Toffees have received for a player 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 Guardiola has earmarked the youngster as a key part of his revolution at the Etihad.
The 22-year-old still has three years left on his current deal after joining from Barnsley in the 2013 January transfer window for £2million.
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.
However, if Everton refuse to drop their price, Manchester City will look elsewhere and Stones might start the 2015/16 season in blue.
In other Everton transfer news, the Toffees are on the verge of signing Aston Villa midfielder Idrissa Gueye.