Manchester United are prepared to offer Jonny Evans plus cash in a bid to tempt Everton to part ways with England international John Stones this summer.
According to a speculative report in the Daily Mirror, the Red Devils have joined the race for Stones and are willing to put a player on the table as Roberto Martinez continues to play hardball in negotiations.
To date both Chelsea and Manchester City have registered a keen interest in signing Stones, with the former having submitted two bids and said to be busy preparing a third.
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Yesterday it was said that their improved offer of £25million had also been snubbed by the powers that be at Goodison Park, leaving Jose Mourinho with plenty to think about.
Chelsea could miss out
However, the Special One seemingly doesn’t have long to ponder unless he wants to risk missing out on Stones, whose assured performances in the heart of Everton’s back four have led to serious interest from the Premier League’s biggest clubs.
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The report in question claims that Louis van Gaal is now eyeing Stones as an ideal alternative to the likes of Mats Hummels, Sergio Ramos and Nicolas Otamendi, all of whom look destined to remain with their current clubs past the summer transfer window.
Van Gaal may have been successful with a number of his transfer endeavours thus far but he’s still in the market for a centre-back, and Stones fits the bill.
Manchester for Stones
What’s more, it’s purported that Everton could give preference to the Manchester clubs if they are to part ways with their prodigal asset, due to Chelsea’s very public pursuit of the youngster.
If that is the case then United may just have the advantage, with Van Gaal willing to sacrifice Evans to get his man.
The Northern Ireland international has been linked with a move to the Toffees repeatedly this year, and his experience would certainly help Martinez’s defence as the Spaniard seeks to build on last term’s disappointing campaign.
No City move?
On top of that City have developed an undesirable reputation for wasting young English talent, making United arguably the more favourable of the two Manchester clubs for any burgeoning young star.
Jack Rodwell was the last Evertonian tipped for big things who made a move to the Etihad, and it’s safe to say Stones won’t want to risk following in his footsteps.
United fans, would you be happy to trade Evans for Stones this summer? Let us know in the comments box below what you think.