According to the Daily Telegraph, Manchester City has offered Everton £40million for highly-rated centre-back John Stones.
It is believed to be a take it or leave it offer. It would seem a bit rich of City to do that when the Toffees do not want to sell the defender.
It has just been assumed that Stones would move to City this summer after a seemingly relentless pursuit of the centre-back.
However, the Toffees do not want to sell the 22-year-old, just like they did not want to sell him last summer to Chelsea.
John Stones is an Everton player
Clubs with rich owners used to be able to bully teams into selling players. The richest clubs usually snapped up the players they wanted from the less rich clubs. It was the football food chain.
However, the financial landscape has changed with the extra television revenue. Everton new investment also means they do not have to sell unless they receive an offer that suits them, not the buying club.
The Toffees do not wish to sell the defender, but every player has their price no matter who he is. The price for Stones is reported to be £50million, which is a massive amount of money, but it is a reflection of a crazy transfer market and the fact that boss Ronald Koeman wants to keep the youngster.
The player wants to move
According to all reports Stones wants to move to Manchester City to play for the Citizens Catalan boss Pep Guardiola, which is understandable. Guardiola is regarded as one of the best bosses club football has ever seen.
He is currently seen as one of the world’s best coaches, so you can see the appeal of Stones wanting to make the move. However, Stones also wanted to leave Everton last summer for Chelsea. It was assumed that Everton would cave and let him leave.
Instead, the club from Merseyside rejected multiple bids for Stones from the then reigning champions. Bizarrely they had this stupid notion of actually keeping their best players and attempting to build for the future. How dare they!
This summer could be a case of history repeating itself for the young defender. He did not seem to sulk after being denied a transfer last season, but he did go on to have a terrible campaign for the Toffees.
Roberto Martinez’s Toffees team were woeful in defence and Stones a liability at times. Last season was not a great advertisement for Stones undoubted ability.
Stones still has a lot to learn
John Stones has trumpeted as the next great ball-playing centre-back, compared to former greats of the game and generally lauded. However, last season his weaknesses were ruthlessly exposed at times.
His classification of a ball-playing centre-back is one that does not help the youngster. He spends too much time thinking about stepping out of defence and not enough time thinking about defending.
He has a long way to go to become the centre-back that his potential suggests he could. As I have stated in the past he has the perfect mentor for the position in Toffees boss Ronald Koeman. If Koeman cannot help the youngster develop then nobody can, and he has a lot of developing to do.
The England youngsters positioning and lapses of concentration mean that fans of his team are often on the edge of their seats, and not for the right reasons. He loses the ball too often when a simple pass will do.
He tries to do the fancy stuff but hasn’t learnt the basics of defending. The great ball-playing centre-backs of the past, for example, Franz Beckenbauer knew how to tackle and he also knew when the time was right to step out of defence. The key to the role is keeping it simple when necessary.
No doubt Pep Guardiola is a great coach and would teach Stones well, but maybe the youngster would be better off spending a couple of years under Koeman.
Koeman’s arrival at Goodison Park is supposed to herald a new era on the blue half of Merseyside. The Toffees are currently odds of 7/2 to finish in the top-six in the new season. Part of Koeman’s mission at Everton will be to improve the team, which includes keeping the players that are perceived as his best ones.
Despite his poor campaign, last season John Stones has immense potential. It does not matter what Manchester City and Pep Guardiola say or do, it will be Everton that decides Stones future.
As Everton proved last summer they will not be pushed about in the transfer market and it looks as if City will have to meet the Toffees valuation, or Stones will remain an Everton player for another season at least.
Will Manchester City sign John Stones this summer?