. 21-year-old Everton FC defender John Stones has been identified as Manchester United FC’s top transfer priority this summer in a move that could see them break the world-record fee for a defender.

 

According to The Independent, Manchester United have identified John Stones as their priority summer transfer target. The 21-year-old English centre-back has been hugely impressive since his breakout season in 2014-15, and has attracted interest from top clubs in the Premier League — including Chelsea FC.

Everton will play hardball

Everton FC will not make it easy for Manchester United to lay its hands on one of their rising young stars in John Stones. The Red Devils would do well to remember the Toffees’ refusal to sell the youngster to Chelsea FC despite receiving three progressively larger bids — the last being to the tune of 38 million pounds — and despite Stones submitting a transfer request in an attempt to push through a move.

With the kind of money that the new TV deal is bringing to the Premier league, the top clubs do not have the kind of financial leverage to force the lower clubs to sell their talent and that is something that Manchester United should keep in mind.

Stones & Smalling: For club and country

In a lackluster season for Manchester United, Chris Smalling has emerged as one of their best players and has been solid in defence, playing a large part in the good defensive record that the Red Devils have this season.

He and Jon Stones are undoubtedly two of the best defenders in the country and will form the backbone of the English defence for years to come. If United can pull off this coup, then they can boast of having the country’s best defence at Old Trafford.