Manchester City have made a final take it-or-leave it offer of around £40 million for Everton defender John Stones, a source has said.
Pep Guardiola confirmed that he wanted to sign the England international at a news conference following City’s International Champions Cup victory over Borussia Dortmund in China.
A source said City have been in talks with the Goodison Park club but will not be held to ransom over a potential deal.
Reports suggest that Everton are holding out for £50m for Stones, with 15 percent of any fee going to Barnsley as part of the deal that saw him move from Oakwell three years ago. However, City will not return with an improved offer if their final bid is rejected.
As reported by ESPN FC earlier this month, Stones is keen on a move to the Etihad and has informed his club of his desire to move this summer.
However, with no deal completed, the 22-year-old has joined Everton’s first-team squad in Germany for two preseason friendlies in Dresden.
He has played just 30 minutes in preseason — against MK Dons on Tuesday — after an extended break following his England duty at Euro 2016.
Stones was involved in protracted transfer wrangle last summer with Chelsea before eventually remaining with Roberto Martinez’s side.
Guardiola is looking for a centre-half, who is comfortable with the ball at his feet. City missed out on Aymeric Laporte earlier in the summer when the Frenchman opted to sign a new deal with his club Athletic Bilbao.
Captain Vincent Kompany is expected to miss the start of the season as he recovers from a groin injury, Martin Demichelis has been released, while Eliaquim Mangala is yet to start preseason training.
However, the Catalan coach said he would be happy with his squad if a deal for Stones did not materialise.
“He’s a player for Everton,” Guardiola said following the Dortmund game in China. “Everybody knows we’re going to try [to sign him] but I don’t know what’s going to happen.
“I’m very happy with the squad we have, in the way they train and play. That’s all I can say.”
Aleksandr Kolarov has moved from left-back to play in the centre of defence alongside Argentina international Nicolas Otamendi and academy product Tosin Adarabioyo in City’s two preseason friendlies.
Guardiola also said that Brazilian midfielder Fernandinho is capable of playing in that position.
Support InfoStride News' Credible Journalism: Only credible journalism can guarantee a fair, accountable and transparent society, including democracy and government. It involves a lot of efforts and money. We need your support. Click here to Donate