Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has reportedly made the signing of the England international a top priority for the summer transfer window, with the Red Devils willing to shell out £54 million to beat Barcelona to his signature.
Manchester United could find themselves in a bidding war with Catalan giants Barcelona for the services of young England international John Stones. The future of the Everton centre-half has been under constant speculation for a good part of the past 18 months, with Chelsea’s public overtures rejected by the Toffees in the previous summer transfer window.
According to a report in the Daily Express, Manchester United are willing to go on all out offensive to land John Stones and are willing to pay a whopping £54m to keep the youngster from the clutches of Barcelona. The Red Devils will likely be required to pay a higher price, given it would be the transfer of an English talent within the Premier League where teams have to maintain a certain quota of home-grown players in their squad.
The 22-year-old, who has also been capped 10 times by England, broke onto the international scene before the 2014 World Cupt. Stones is a key player for England as they head into the European Championships in France. The Three Lions will be looking to Stones, Chris Smalling and Gary Cahill to provide a solid platform for their exciting attacking talent to flourish.
Jose Mourinho hopes to be second time lucky with signing Stones
Jose Mourinho, who tried signing the Everton centre-back last summer with Chelsea, has continued admiration for the youngster and sees him as a regular for both club and country in the future. Last summer, Chelsea were unable to close the deal for John Stones after failing to reach an agreement with Everton over the transfer fee for the defender.
Manchester United’s negotiations could start as soon as the Euro 2016 tournament concludes so that Stones can potentially have a full pre-season with his new team. With Daley Blind unlikely to continue in his role as central defender under Mourinho, the Portuguese will almost certainly look to sign a centre-back for the team, and a ball-playing defender with a significant physical presence like Stones would be an ideal replacement for Blind.