By Alex Stevens
Manchester City are confident of signing John Stones from Everton this week in a deal likely to cost £50million, according to Sky Sports News’ chief reporter.
City manager Pep Guardiola confirmed earlier this week that he “will try” to land the England centre-back this summer.
It has been widely reported that City have already tabled a £40million bid for Stones but Everton are holding out for a fee of £50million.
Sky Sports’ News’ chief reporter Kaveh Solhekol revealed on his personal Twitter account on Sunday evening that a deal should be imminently completed at around that price.
Man City confident they can complete deal for Everton defender John Stones this week. Total cost likely to be £50m
— Kaveh Solhekol (@SkyKaveh) July 31, 2016
A £50million fee would comfortably be a new record for the Toffees and would demolish their previous transfer records.
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.
“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.”
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 on the verge of signing Aston Villa midfielder Idrissa Gueye.