Everton will be offered the chance to re-sign John Stones this summer as Man City prepare to offload him after falling out of favour, Football Insider understands.
Pep Guardiola is planning a major defensive overhaul and will look to sign two senior centre-backs in the next transfer window.
The City manager is in no doubt that his side’s frailties at the back have been at the heart of the problems that saw them relinquish their title to new champions Liverpool with a record seven matches remaining.
A City source has told Football Insider the club will listen to offers for Stones, 26, as he prepares to leave after four years.
Agents are set to be mandated to find him a new club and one intriguing possibility is a move back to Everton.
There is also likely to be strong interest from other top-level Premier League clubs, with the likes of Arsenal and Newcastle United possible contenders for his signature.
Stones spent three years at Goodison Park before he was signed by City in the summer of 2016 for an initial £47.5million, making him then the second-most expensive defender signing in history.
The 39-times England cap has two years left on his contract and the next window represents the last major chance to recoup much of that fee.
However, it’s unlikely City would get anywhere near to £50m for a player who is not a regular in their side despite his pedigree and top-level experience.
The centre-back has not made the matchday squad for any of City’s three matches since the restart, including last night’s 2-1 defeat to Chelsea.
Guardiola has said the England international has been suffering from a slight ankle injury and he will get opportunities when he’s fully fit.
But Stones has been a fringe figure all season, despite the loss of Vincent Kompany last summer and the club not replacing him.
City’s transfer business remains up in the air and much will depend on the success of a Court of Arbitration of Sport appeal over a two-year European ban.
In other Everton news, a defender at the club has been told to find a new club after hamstring blow.
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