Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has confirmed his interest in signing Everton defender John Stones.
The England defender has been linked with the club for several months now and City are keen to push through a deal for the 22-year-old.
Everton are holding out for upwards of £50million for the England international and that remains a sticking point, although Guardiola remains keen to add Stones and Schalke forward Leroy Sane.
“Sane is a player from Schalke. If he comes, we’ll be happy. If he stays, I’ll be happy for the Schalke fans,” said the Catalan after his side’s penalty shoot-out win over Borussia Dortmund, where Sergio Aguero’s second-half goal was cancelled out in added time by Christian Pulisic at the International Champions Cup in China.
In relation to Stones, Guardiola told his post-match press conference: “It’s the same answer for Sane – he’s a player for Everton.
“Everyone knows we’re going to try but we will see.”
Stones flew out to Germany on Thursday for a two-match tournament in Dresden.
The defender played 30 minutes of Tuesday’s win at MK Dons, his first appearance since returning from extended leave after being part of England’s Euro 2016 squad.
Guardiola is eager to see Samir Nasri in action but left him out for the game against Dortmund.
He said Nasri had returned from his summer break needing to lose some weight, and praised his efforts in doing so.
“Samir arrived back a little overweight but he is much, much, much, much better now,” Guardiola said in his post-match press conference.
“He has fought a lot during these weeks but he is still a little bit overweight. Last season, he was overweight and he was injured all the season and we want to avoid that.
“The players on the pitch, they are fit, their weight is in the right place to run 90 minutes; like Tosin (Adarabioyo), or Fernandinho or (Aleksandar) Kolarov, or the other ones.”
Asked if Nasri is responding well, Guardiola said: “I cannot have any complaints about him.”