Manch­ester City splash out on Eve on de­fender Stones

The Myanmar Times - - Sport -

MANCH­ESTER City splashed out a re­ported £47.5 mil­lion (US$61 mil­lion) to sign Eng­land de­fender John Stones from Ever­ton to a six-year-deal yes­ter­day.

“I’m ab­so­lutely de­lighted to sign for City and now the deal’s done I’m look­ing for­ward to the next stage in my ca­reer,” Stones told City’s web­site.

News of Stones’ im­mi­nent move to East­lands had leaked ear­lier in the day when UEFA’s web­site in­cluded the 22-year-old cen­tre-back City’s squad for next week’s Cham­pi­ons League play-off against Steaua Bucharest.

City re­sponded by quickly an­nounc­ing the deal, which puts Stones be­hind only Brazil star David Luiz as the most ex­pen­sive de­fender ever.

Luiz moved to Paris Saint Ger­main from Chelsea for £50 mil­lion in 2014 and has won two suc­ces­sive French ti­tles, a feat that Stones is keen to em­u­late with City.

Stones’ sign­ing takes City man­ager Pep Guardi­ola’s spend­ing to well over £100 mil­lion since he ar­rived from Bay­ern Mu­nich in the close-sea­son.

Guardi­ola, who has also signed Ilkay Gun­do­gan, Nolito, Leroy Sane, Gabriel Je­sus and Alexan­der Zinchenko, be­lieves Stones per­fectly fits his strat­egy of hav­ing de­fend­ers who are as pro­fi­cient in pos­ses­sion as in tack­ling.

Stones, who has won 10 Eng­land caps, had hoped to join Chelsea last year, and had a trans­fer re­quest re­jected when the Lon­don club’s bids were snubbed by Ever­ton.

Ever­ton al­lowed their prize as­set to leave Good­i­son Park just hours af­ter City’s bit­ter ri­vals Manch­ester United com­pleted a world record £89 mil­lion swoop for Ju­ven­tus mid­fielder Paul Pogba (see re­lated story above).

Stones’ ar­rival is a huge boost for Guardi­ola ahead of City’s Premier League opener at home to Sun­der­land on Au­gust 13. The new coach had lim­ited op­tions at cen­tre-back with Vin­cent Kom­pany, Eli­aquim Man­gala and Ni­co­las Ota­mendi all strug­gling with in­juries, and only the lat­ter in­cluded in the Cham­pi­ons League squad for the Steaua clash. –

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Myanmar

© PressReader. All rights reserved.