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Stan Collymore claims reported Everton target is an upgrade on Stones

By Alex Taylor

Stan Collymore has claimed that Everton target Ashley Williams would be an upgrade on John Stones.

The 22-year-old centre-back joined Manchester City from the Merseysiders on Tuesday for a reported fee of £47.5million to make him the second most expensive defender in history.

The Guardian claim Swansea skipper Williams could be on his way to Goodison Park this summer as a direct replacement for Stones.

“If you can get Williams,” Collymore tweeted. “Then in the short term that’s an upgrade on Stones!”

Collymore has become one of the most outspoken pundits since his retirement from the game in 2001.

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Everton fans will be excited to hear the former Liverpool striker claim that the Toffees may sign a better defender, as well as receive £47.5million spending money this summer.

Manchester City announced the deal for the young defender via Twitter and on their website after Stones signed a six-year deal which will keep him at the club until 2022.

The fee is comfortably a new record, either incoming or outgoing, for the Merseyside club.

The highest sum Everton have received was £27million when Maroanne Fellaini joined Manchester United in 2013, while their record outlay is the £28million they spent to entice Romelu Lukaku from Chelsea 12 months later.

Stones showed 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 can sign a replacement now the deal is done, with just two experienced central defenders left at the club in Phil Jagielka and Ramiro Funes Mori.

In other Everton transfer news, a date has been set for final Everton striker bid to be tabled.