Manch­ester City splash out on Ever­ton’s Stones

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport Starts Here -

LON­DON — Manch­ester City splashed out a re­ported £47.5m to sign Eng­land de­fender John Stones from Ever­ton yes­ter­day.

Stones agreed a six-year con­tract with City and is re­ported to have be­come the sec­ond most ex­pen­sive de­fender in his­tory be­hind Paris Saint Ger­main and Brazil star David Luiz.

“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.

“I’ve ob­vi­ously seen what’s go­ing on here at the Eti­had, it’s an am­bi­tious club with a great man­ager so I can’t wait to get stuck in and help achieve the goals.”

News of Stones’ im­mi­nent move to East­lands had leaked out ear­lier in the day when Uefa’s web­site in­cluded the 22-year-old cen­tre-back in 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 Luiz as the most ex­pen­sive de­fender the game has ever seen.

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 once he is es­tab­lished in the team.

“I know it will be tough get­ting a place in this team but I’m de­ter­mined to be­come the best player I can be and help us to suc­cess,” Stones said.

“I had a won­der­ful time with Ever­ton and wish them and their fans all the best but now I’ll give my all for 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 phi­los­o­phy of hav­ing de­fend­ers who are as good in pos­ses­sion as they are in the tackle.

“We want to help John show his qual­ity with us and im­prove on what he has al­ready achieved,” Guardi­ola said.

“I like the way he plays the game and I’m look­ing for­ward to wel­com­ing him into the squad.”— AFP.

John Stones

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