Everton bombshell as Uefa reveal registration
By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens
John Stones has been sensationally registered in Manchester City’s Champions League squad ahead of their play-off.
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.
City have been open in their pursuit of England international Stones this summer amid widespread reports that they have been locked in negotiations with Everton about a deal.
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“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.”
However Sky Sports claimed on their website last week that Everton are standing firm on their £50million valuation of the England international following weeks of talks.
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.