John Stones: Manchester City sign Everton defender for GBP47.5m

MANCHESTER/LONDON — Manchester City have signed John Stones from Everton for GBP47.5 million, making him the world's second most expensive defender.

The 22-year-old England international has signed a 6-year deal and is City boss Pep Guardiola's 8th signing.

Stones was earlier named in City's official Champions League squad, published on the Uefa website before the transfer was confirmed.

"It's an ambitious club with a great manager so I can't wait to get stuck in," said the former Barnsley player.

"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."

In a short statement, Everton confirmed they had received a "record fee" for Stones, who made 95 appearances in three seasons, scoring once.

Championship side Barnsley, the Yorkshireman's first club, will get between GBP7 million and GBP9 million from a sell-on clause.

Everton, meanwhile, have had a GBP12 million bid accepted for Swansea centre-half Ashley Williams, 31.

The Toffees had rejected a GBP40 million bid for Stones from Chelsea last summer and rejected the player's transfer request.

Brazil international David Luiz is the most expensive defender in history, joining French champions Paris St-Germain from Chelsea for GBP50 million in 2014.

Last year, City made Raheem Sterling the most expensive English player ever when he joined the club for GBP49 million from Liverpool.

City have already signed Ilkay Gundogan, Nolito, Leroy Sane, Gabriel Jesus, Marlos Moreno, Aaron Mooy and Oleksandr Zinchenko this summer.

Their first Premier League fixture is at home to Sunderland on Saturday.

Their statement described Stones as "one of the world's most promising centre-backs" with a reputation as a "ball-playing, 21st-century defender".

City also claim he is at his best when "neutralising opposition attacks" and "launching the first key pass out of the defensive third".

Guardiola said: "We want to help John show his quality with us and improve on what he has already achieved. I like the way he plays the game and I'm looking forward to welcoming him into the squad."

City's director of football, Txiki Begiristain, said the club had "worked hard" to sign him and regard him as "one of the best central defenders in Europe".

Stones joined Barnsley's academy at the age of seven and stayed at the club for 12 years.

He made his Tykes debut at the age of 17 and made 24 league appearances before moving to Everton in January 2013 for a fee thought to be about GBP3 million.

Stones has made 95 appearances for the Toffees in three seasons, scoring once, and has 10 international caps.

He was part of the England squad at Euro 2016 but did not feature as they were knocked out in the last 16 by Iceland.

Criticised by some Everton supporters and former players such as Sol Campbell for making mistakes, Stones made the joint most errors directly leading to goals in the last season's Premier League season - three.

Only former Everton team-mate Phil Jagielka, Southampton's Maya Yoshida and West Ham's Aaron Cresswell made as many.


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