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Manchester City close to a deal for Everton defender John Stones

Manchester City have opened talks with Everton over a deal for England defender John Stones, according to the BBC.

Stones has been Pep Guardiola’s priority target to rebuild the backline in his style, and City are now trying to close a deal for the 22-year-old centre-back. The two clubs are reportedly not far apart in their valuations, with City expected to pay up to £50 million for the young England international.

Three newspapers – the Guardian, Daily Mail and Daily Mirror – are also reporting that a deal is close in what appears to be a second briefing from City in two days, after yesterday’s news that the club are closing in on three attacking players.

Wilfried Bony, who shares the same agent as John Stones, has reportedly been offered in part-exchange, but Everton prefer a cash deal and are not keen on the striker.

It is claimed that City would prefer to pay around £42 million, the amount shelled out of Eliaquim Mangala two years ago, while Everton have insisted on a minimum of £50 million. The BBC’s update, which came after the various newspaper reports, suggests that the clubs will soon reach a compromise and City will land one of their primary summer targets.

Also of interest from the newspaper reports is that City maintain an interest in Leonardo Bonucci and could yet move again for the Juventus defender if Guardiola isn’t convinced by Vincent Kompany’s fitness.

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