Manchester City splash out on Everton’s Stones
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.