By Harvey Byrne
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has confirmed that he is interested in signing Everton defender John Stones.
The new Etihad Stadium manager boss has revealed that City “will try” to sign the England international this summer.
The Daily Mail claimed that the Toffees rejected a £40million move for their prize defender earlier this month as Everton hold out for a fee of £50million.
“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.”
If Guardiola and Manchester City are serious about obtaining the England international then the rumoured fee would be a new record for the Toffees.
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 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, 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 on the verge of signing Aston Villa midfielder Idrissa Gueye.