Man City get tough with Everton over Stones valuation

Pep Guardiola wants the England defender at the Etihad Stadium in time for the new season but the club have told the Toffees that they are unwilling to raise their initial offer

Manchester City are ready to get tough with Everton in their pursuit of John Stones.

Pep Guardiola identified Stones as a priority target months ago, and the 22-year-old’s desire to play for the Catalan coach at the Etihad Stadium has forced other potential suitors to back away from negotiations.

It had been expected that City would pay Everton’s £50 million asking price in a bid to incorporate Stones into their squad as soon as possible ahead of the new Premier League season.

But senior City sources are now insistent that they will not budge on their valuation of the England defender, which is in the region of £40m.

It is understood Everton are aware of that stance and, as far as City are concerned, the ball is now in the Merseysiders’ court.

GOALREAD MORE  | Guardiola still loves Ribery

Director of football Txiki Begiristain had been with the club in China for their curtailed International Champions Cup campaign.

He has also been brokering deals for Schalke’s Leroy Sane and Palmeiras’ Gabriel Jesus, and there is a confidence within the club that those deals will soon be completed.

City have been haggling over Sane’s price with their Bundesliga counterparts but all parties are keen to reach an agreement and the two respective valuations are not wildly different.

The Stones saga, however, could now run on past the start of the Premier League campaign.

City were similarly insistent one year ago that they would not meet Liverpool’s demands for Raheem Sterling, nor Wolfsburg’s for Kevin De Bruyne.

The club eventually signed Sterling for £45m rising to a potential £49m depending on a number of factors, while De Bruyne was signed for £54m but only after the 2015-16 season had started.

Everton stood firm in the face of several big-money bids, which neared £40m, for Stones from Chelsea last summer.

City, though, are likely to pursue a deal through to completion given their travails in landing Guardiola’s top defensive targets so far this summer.

The Blues want two central defenders and had initially identified Athletic defender Aymeric Laporte alongside Stones.

Despite negotiations taking place between the clubs and reports that personal terms had been agreed, Laporte eventually elected to sign a new deal at San Mames.

That has forced City to look elsewhere, and with little success so far.

Guardiola is a long-term admirer of Leonardo Bonucci, but Juventus are also demanding around £50m for a player seven years older than both Laporte and Stones.

Fosu-Mensah is staying at Manchester United, insists agent

The 18-year-old was surprisingly linked with a move away from Old Trafford this summer but his representative is adamant that the speculation is ‘rubbish’

Timothy Fosu-Mensah’s agent has rubbished reports claiming that Jose Mourinho has told him to leave Manchester United.

The 18-year-old, along with Bastian Schweinsteiger and Adnan Januzaj, was one of nine players reportedly deemed surplus to requirements at Old Trafford this summer, despite impressing under Louis van Gaal last season.

But the right-back’s agent, Jonathan Barnett, insists that United have no plans to sell the Dutch defender.

“There is no truth in it. These reports are complete rubbish,” Barnett told IB Times.


RUMOURS: Manchester United open talks over Fabinho

The 22-year-old Brazilian is slated as an alternative to Matteo Darmian on the flank, after the ex-Torino man endured a difficult debut season at Old Trafford

Monaco right-back Fabinho has emerged as a transfer target for Manchester United, according to Globoesporte

Matteo Darmian moved to Old Trafford last season to cover the position, but failed to convince with a poor first season.

United manager Jose Mourinho knows Fabinho well having worked with him during his time at Real Madrid, and has given his consent for the club to open talks with the 22-year-old ahead of the 2016-17 season.  


Poland starlet Kapustka confirms Leicester City move

The 19-year-old impressed at Euro 2016 and claims Claudio Ranieri’s keen interest played a key role in his decision to join the Premier League champions

Poland winger Bartosz Kapustka has confirmed he has chosen to join Leicester City.

The midfielder currently plays for Cracovia and impressed in Poland’s Euro 2016 campaign earlier this summer.

Leicester have submitted a £7.5 million bid for Kapustka and the 19-year-old admits Claudio Ranieri’s interest played a key role in his decision to move to the Premier League champions.

“Yes, of all the offers tabled, Leicester wanted me the most,” Kapustka told Telewizja Polska.

“Ranieri’s interest was a big factor for me.

“He was asking about me, he wanted me to join the team. This convinced me, but there were many factors.

“I’m not going there only because of the name of the club, or because they won the Premier League. I’m optimistic and think I have a real chance of playing time.”


RUMOURS: Fosu-Mensah misses Manchester United training due to calf injury

Reports had claimed that the 18-year-old has been told to leave but the defender has only missed training due to a calf problem

Timothy Fosu-Mensah missed Manchester United’s training session on Thursday due to a calf injury, not because he is on the verge of leaving the club, according to the Manchester Evening News.

Despite impressing under Louis van Gaal last season, the 18-year-old right-back was one of nine players named in a report as being surplus to requirements under Jose Mourinho this summer.

But it’s now claimed that Fosu-Mensah suffered a calf strain in China and is now receiving treatment from physios at Carrington.

The defender will now miss Saturday’s friendly against Galatasaray.