Young Everton defender John Stones informed the board this week he would like to make a move to Manchester City. The transfer fee – should the transfer materialize – would be around £50m.
Interest in Stones is huge among English clubs and Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United are all trying to sign the player. Earlier this month, Stones turned down a transfer to Barcelona.
Though nothing is certain at this point, the fact that Stones is keen to move to Manchester City, the fact that Guardiola would like to see him there, and the willingness to pay up to £50m all combine into a good degree of probability that Stones will actually pen the Manchester City contract.
UK bookmaker Paddy Power lists the price of 4/11 for Stones to sign for City. Chelsea are priced at 2/1 and all other teams are a long shot. The Paddy Power bet is for anytime signature, which means the move doesn’t have to happen this season. Skybet are taking it even further and they’re giving only 1/5 for Stones to sign for Manchester City before September 3rd. This is a good indication of what will happen.
Last summer Everton held onto their star defender despite immense interest and four transfer bids from Chelsea, the last one being worth £37m, but this time around it looks like mission impossible – Everton will have to sell and the only question is where will Stones continue his career.
Manchester City will be without Vincent Kompany until October as the Belgian recovers from an injury, which would leave Josep Guardiola with unconvincing duo of Nicolas Otamendi and Eliaquim Mangala as his only defensive option. Guardiola is therefore determined to make a big signing in the defensive department and Stones is the top choice.
Is Stones worth the hype? Opinions differ. While one camp sees him as a legitimate heir to John Terry in the England team, the others will point out the errors he is making and the fact that his defence conceded 55 goals in the Premier League last season. Certainly the central defender should be held accountable for these goals?
At any rate, John Stones would benefit from proper leadership and a coach who can mould him into a world class defender. Guardiola looks like the man for the role – Gerard Pique being an example of his work on young defenders.
The Everton duo John Stones and Ross Barkley weren’t highly rated by John Hodgson and they haven’t played a single game in Euro 2016. In central defence, Hodgson’s main duo were Chris Smalling and Gary Cahill. Stones played for England in the preparation phase and didn’t do too well, eliminating himself from contention for the important matches.