It’s done – Manchester City have managed to sign their dream target John Stones. The transfer fee is £47.5m with potential extra £2.5m in add-ons and Stones signed a six-year deal with a £240,000-a-week salary, immediately launching the defender in the top five highest-paid footballers in the league.
The deal was revealed by UEFA as John Stones was listed on City’s official player list for the Champions League playoff round matches against Steaua which was due on Monday (see image below). Wanting to have Stones included for the two legs against the Romanian side, City included him in the UEFA CL squad. After the story leaked, Manchester City have confirmed the transfer.
Everton initially wanted £50m for the England defender but Manchester City offered £40m, and have now upped their offer to meet Everton demands with £47.5m + potential £2.5m in add-ons, making John Stones the second most expensive defender in football history. David Luiz, who joined Paris Saint-Germain from Chelsea in 2014, is still the record holder as the fee was £50m flat.
Most notably, Manchester City are holders of #4 and #5 top transfer fees for defenders, as they paid £32m for Eliaquim Mangala in 2014 and when that didn’t work they paid £32m again, this time for Nicolas Otamendi in 2015.
Raheem Sterling is still the most expensive English player ever as Manchester City paid £49m to bring him from Liverpool in 2014.
Meanwhile, Everton have had a £12m bid for Swansea and Wales defender Ashley Williams accepted.
Manchester City statement described Stones as “one of the world’s most promising centre-backs” with a reputation as a “ball-playing, 21st-century defender”. City also claim he is at his best when “neutralising opposition attacks” and “launching the first key pass out of the defensive third”. However, Everton defence conceded 55 goals in 38 games last season and it’s obvious Stones has yet to be trained into a world class defender. That task will fall onto Josep Guardiola.
Guardiola said: “We want to help John show his quality with us and improve on what he has already achieved. I like the way he plays the game and I’m looking forward to welcoming him into the squad.”
“It’s an ambitious club with a great manager so I can’t wait to get stuck in,” said Stones. “I know it will be tough getting a place in this team, but I’m determined to become the best player I can be and help us to success.”, the former Barnsley player added.
In a short statement, Everton confirmed they had received a “record fee” for Stones, who made 95 appearances in three seasons, scoring once.
Championship side Barnsley, the Yorkshireman’s first club, will get between £7m and £9m from a 15 per cent sell-on clause they cleverly included in Stones’ move to the Toffees back in 2013. The move had a £2.98m fee.