After failing to land Aymeric Laporte and, if reports are to be believed, Leonardo Bonucci, the pressure is on Txiki Begiristain to close a deal for Everton and England centre-half John Stones. The two clubs have been locked in talks for weeks, with varying reports on what stage they are at, but a general belief that they are struggling to agree a fee for the promising 22-year-old.
City fans online seem quite torn on Stones, with some pointing to a patchy season in the last campaign and others noting his obvious potential and an almost perfect skill set for a Pep Guardiola side. Stones has a pass completion of almost 90%, incredibly high for such a young defender, but is still error prone.
However, Arsenal legend and Sky Sports pundit, Thierry Henry, believes he will fit Guardiola’s City like a glove if the two clubs can reach an agreement. Henry said of the prodigious defender:
“Stones is the perfect player to play under Pep.
“I remember when Gerard Pique came to Barcelona, people in England were not convinced about how good he was as a defender – and rightly so, he was struggling.
“The way we played at Barcelona was better for Pique and the same goes for Stones. He, of course, has not signed yet but if he goes to City I’m sure it will be a match made in heaven.”
Everton continue to hold out for £50 million and have turned down a player-plus-cash deal involving Wilfried Bony. City want to pay closer to £40 million for the Yorkshireman, but the new season is less than a week away, and with a worrying lack of available centre-backs, Pep Guardiola will be hoping this saga can come to an end as soon as possible.