By Alex Taylor

£50m Manchester City target John Stones played for Everton against Dynamo Dresden on Friday evening, despite heavy speculation that the 22-year-old will leave the Toffees this summer.

The decision to play Stones comes just days after City boss Pep Guardiola confirmed that he is interested in bringing the youngster to the Etihad before the start of the 2016-17 Premier League season.

Stones had a solid first half for Everton and certainly didn’t look like a man going through his paces, as The Daily Mail reported that his transfer had reached a stalemate with Manchester City still not formally offering the full £50m.

Fans on the social media site didn’t hold back when sharing their views.

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.

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The highest sum the Toffees have received for a player 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 22-year-old still has three years left on his current deal after joining from Barnsley in the 2013 January transfer window for £2million.

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.