New Manchester City signing John Stones claims that two of the club's stars begged him to move to the Etihad and join a "revolution" under new manager Pep Guardiola.
The 22-year-old defender has revealed that goalkeeper Joe Hart and winger Raheem Sterling pleaded with him to make the move from Everton during England's ultimately disappointing Euro 2016 campaign.
Stones completed his transfer to City on Tuesday for an initial fee of £47.5 million, making him both the second most expensive English footballer in history and the second most costliest defender of all time, behind Paris Saint-Germain's David Luiz.
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In Stones' words, Hart and Sterling said, "We need you. We want you here and with all the boys here, you’ll settle in quick.”
He then continued, “They (Hart and Sterling) didn’t try to persuade me too much. I was kind of sold (on the move) already, but we get along so well I’m sure when we’re in training, it’ll feel like home.
“I’ve spoken to a lot of the boys here, like Joe, and they wanted me to come. I expressed my feelings that I wanted to come and obviously the manager was a big part of that. I want to come and help the team and help win trophies.”
Stones and Pep: a perfect fit
Stones is extremely excited at the prospect of working with Guardiola and feels that the 45-year-old Spaniard will help him to realise his full potential.
“I hope he can bring out everything in me,” the ex-Barnsley youngster said. “I always know that there’s a lot of improvement for my game personally.
“It’s 110 per cent the right decision to play under him and I’m so thankful that I’m getting the opportunity to come here and play with the best and improve day in, out."
On Guardiola’s possible impact at City, Stones declared, “He’s a winner and I think that’s what’s going to rub off on everyone. We need to win games and I’m sure that’s what will happen.”
Meanwhile, Guardiola admires the way the young starlet plays the game and wanted him for his ability to play out from the back. His pursuit of Stones is yet another strong signal that Pep likes players who are very comfortable in possession.
More pressingly, the former Bayern Munich boss needed a central defender for City’s Premier League opener against Sunderland and crucial Champions League play-off tie with Steaua Bucharest. Both Nicolas Otamendi and captain Vincent Kompany are expected to miss the first week of the new season.
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