Soon-to-be Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola recently revealed his plans to juggle his current managerial job at Bayern Munich as well as preparing for his summer move to the Etihad Stadium, and it’s led to a number of names being linked with the Premier League giants. The Spanish coach will sign players to fit a possession-based style of play, and with the demand for homegrown talent, Everton’s John Stones is 1/1 to join Man City as a result.
Everton don’t match Stones’ ambitions
The Toffees centre-back has become a regular in the starting lineup under Roberto Martinez, but has been short of form of late. His error-strewn showings have been heavily scrutinised, and with the club underachieving in the Premier League, he could well consider a move away from the Merseyside club. Stones isn’t making any real headway in the national team as things stand, but would certainly be put on more of a pedestal if he was playing for a side challenging for major honours, and he ticks every box of what City and Guardiola will require for next season.
Manchester City are short of homegrown players and need to bolster their backline. John Stones has a lot of experience in his young age and has spent his entire playing career in this country. He’s engrained in a possession-based style due to his training under Martinez, so his composure on the ball could be something that Guardiola takes notice to. And while Everton turned down bids for the defender’s services in the past, Stones isn’t likely to break the bank.
Money not an object for Man City
Guardiola is expected to be given a blank cheque to sign players good enough to have the side competing for major honours, but should the centre-back seek a move, Everton may be forced into a corner to accept a modest offer. Chelsea are one side who saw a previous approach rebuffed for the defender, so they may provide some competition with City for his signature in the summer, but their struggles this season could put off the youngster to sign for the Londoners.
As a result, Manchester City are somewhat in pole position to sign the Englishman, and Stones could well become a regular fixture in the backline under Guardiola. He’s guaranteed game time with Everton, but City are in need of reinforcements in the backline so the 21-year-old wouldn’t necessarily be bench-fodder. But will Guardiola look to make John Stones his in the summer?