By virtue of not playing a single minute of football, John Stones was one of few individuals to emerge from the car crash of England’s Euro 2016 escapades with his reputation intact. Manchester City and Pep Guardiola remain interested in the Everton centre-half, but it will take a princely sum to prise him away from Goodison Park.
According to the Daily Mirror, it will take a world-record fee. A world-record fee for a defender that is, which also means a club-record fee for City. The Mirror claim that negotiations will ‘start’ at £50m, implying that the 22-year-old will cost even more than that. The Sun report that he will move for £53m.
It is thought that City will open the bidding this weekend, but their offer will only match that of Chelsea’s last season – £40m. It will not be enough to tempt the Toffees into selling. We thought £50m for the defender was ludicrous; he is likely to cost even more.
David Maddock adds that United do remain interested in Stones, but they are less likely to press ahead with a bid.
What a day it is for those with a fetish for Manchester City central-defender based transfer rumours. Regardless of your thoughts on the Stones move, this one is even more unfathomable.
According to reports, Besiktas are working on bringing ‘a bomb’ to the club as they prepare for Champions League football next season. They plan to ‘give a gift to the fans’ in the shape of one Vincent Kompany.
The aptly-named Fanatik are the ones to blame for the claim, and the Turkish outlet adds that Besiktas are willing to pay £25m to sign City’s captain, are planning to move their budget around to pay his considerable wage, and they want the deal done within a week. Pep must be tempted to cash in on the injury-prone 30-year-old, but Fanatik are not the most reliable of sources.
KANTE FOR CONTE
Antonio Conte will be unveiled as Chelsea’s new manager at a press conference on Thursday, and the Daily Mail tell us that his second big signing after Michy Batshuayi could well be N’Golo Kante.
The Blues have submitted a £30m bid for the Leicester midfielder, who is ‘keen to work under’ the Italian. A contract offer of £100,000 a week has been submitted to the Frenchman.
Kante is also wanted by Real Madrid, Juventus and clubs in China, but the 25-year-old wishes to remain in the Premier League. Leicester remain adamant that a fee has not yet been agreed, and they themselves have offered the midfielder a fresh contract.
AND THE REST
Manchester United misfit Memphis Depay is wanted by Barcelona and Juventus…Former Arsenal centre-back Thomas Vermaelen is trying to broker a deal back to The Emirates, claim reports in Spain…Sunderland are considering appointing former Everton and Manchester United manager David Moyes if Sam Allardyce takes the England job…Burnley boss Sean Dyche is also in Sunderland’s sights after Allardyce had talks with the FA this week…Stoke are set to offer around £12m to sign Gabon midfielder Mario Lemina from Juventus…Meanwhile, West Brom are ready to offer £17m for the same player…Arsenal’s Chuba Akpom, 20, is set to be their only fit striker for the start of the Premier League season…Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is chasing Wolfsburg midfielder Julian Draxler, 22, in a £55m move…The Gunners are ready to make a £42m offer for 25-year-old France and Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette…Mauro Icardi’s wife and agent Wanda Nara has confirmed Arsenal and Tottenham have enquired about the Inter Milan striker…Pep Guardiola wants to keep defender Pablo Zabaleta at Manchester City, according to reports in Spain…Chelsea are set to swoop with a £25m bid for Brazil star Gabriel Barbosa…England defender Luke Shaw, 21, is set to make his first appearance in 10 months in pre-season, after breaking his leg against PSV Eindhoven last September.