Everton in the race to sign Premier League defender

Koeman

Everton have gone through a pretty big cycle of managers in the last couple of years.

However, they finally look to have settled upon a winning formula.

Funnily enough, all it took was someone with some major honours to their name to change the Toffees' fortunes.

Carlo Ancelotti has been a breath of fresh air at Goodison Park and has so far taken them from a team near the bottom of the league to one in with a sneak chance of securing a place in Europe.

That is the Italian's goal for the club but he may have to stick around for a few years in order to achieve it. 

With a few additions, he could well achieve that.

Clearly, defence is a place where he's looking to improve the side. Lille defender Gabriel has been linked, as too has Barcelona full-back Emerson.

Though, the most eye-catching new recruit could be a former Toffee.

Ancelotti

Reports emerging this weekend suggested that Everton wanted to bring Manchester City's John Stones back to Merseyside. 

With the Englishman becoming City's fifth-choice centre half, he is looking for an escape route out of Manchester and could be handed that by Ancelotti.

Sources close to the player claim he's unhappy but Everton face competition from Arsenal if they're to secure his services this summer.

Stones has failed to play a single minute since the season's resumption and thus, is looking to leave Pep Guardiola behind.

The 26-year-old is reaching the peak of his career and is currently valued at £32.4m.

Stones

GIVEMESPORT'S Matt Dawson says...

Stones was once seen as one of the best emerging defenders in this country.

A modern ball-playing central defender, he has all the technical attributes to succeed at the top level. However, it's his mentality that lets himself down.

Not only is the defender injury-prone, but he also makes a number of mistakes, particularly when playing out from the back.

Stones has made seven individual errors leading to goals in his Premier League career to date so he's clearly a player who needs to work on the simple parts of the game.

However, it's important to remember just how highly-rated he once was.

John Stones

Speaking in 2016, one of football's greatest ever managers, Guardiola, compared him to one of the best defenders to have played the game.

Coincidentally, the similarities he drew were with former Everton boss Ronald Koeman. 

He agreed when asked if the player was potentially the heir to the Dutchman's throne, saying

"John has similarities to Ronald, especially in the mentality. John is a guy who always wants to play, be under pressure. Normally the players who like to play the ball handle the pressure better than the other ones.

"The long balls of Ronald - he was the best ever. But John is young enough, he can improve. He played with the national team very good." 

Mighty praise indeed.

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