John Stones England
Everton defender John Stones wants a move to Manchester City this summer. Pictured: Stones during an England training session, May 30, 2016Reuters

Strengthening the defence is one of the priorities for Pep Guardiola, and Manchester City are ready to make a big offer for John Stones to prise him away from Everton this summer. The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager was keen on signing Leonardo Bonucci from Juventus, but having seen a big bid rejected by the Italian champions, it seems like Guardiola has now shifted his attention back to the Premier League and Stones.

Guardiola has already made two astute signings in Ilkay Gundogan and Nolito for comparatively little money, but the Premier League side will have to fork out a pretty penny if they are to sign Stones.

According to The Guardian, Stones has already made his mind up to move to Manchester, with the transfer now hinging on City agreeing a fee with Everton.

That is not going to be an easy task, as Chelsea found out last season. With Stones making it clear, at that time as well, that he wanted to leave the club, Chelsea looked nailed-on to complete a move for the England international, only for Everton to reject all offers from the Blues.

With a new manager in Ronaldo Koeman and a wealthy owner in Farhad Moshiri at the helm, Manchester City will find it just as difficult, if not more, to convince Everton to sell Stones. The report suggests Manchester City will have to go over the £42 million the club paid to FC Porto to sign Eliaquim Mangala two seasons ago.

While money is almost never an issue with Manchester City, the problem will be convincing Everton to sell. The Toffees might be a little more open to a move this summer, owing to the fact that Stones had an underwhelming season last time around, and they will know the dangers of keeping a player who would much rather be playing somewhere else.

Manchester City have also been heavily linked with a move for Bonucci, and after reportedly seeing a first bid rejected by Juve, there have been reports of a second bid of around €60 million coming. However, if Guardiola has shifted his focus to Stones, it does seem like Manchester City have given up on signing the Italy international.

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