Stones wants to be rock-solid under Pep
New City defender believes he can improve under 'winner' Guardiola
Manchester City have spent a record transfer fee for a British defender by signing John Stones from Everton for £47.5 million ($83.6m).
The 22-year-old has become City's eighth signing of the summer by penning a six-year deal at the Etihad Stadium, joining the likes of Ilkay Guendogan, Leroy Sane and Gabriel Jesus in Pep Guardiola's first transfer window.
The move was confirmed yesterday morning, shortly after Stones had been included in City's Champions League squad list on Uefa's official website, and Press Association Sport understands the figure makes the Yorkshireman the second-most expensive defender of all time - behind only Paris St Germain's David Luiz.
"I just rang my mum and all of family and said, 'I can't believe that I'm here, playing for such a big club, the best manager in the world'. It just all seems so surreal," Stones said on City TV.
"It will take me a few weeks to settle in and get my head around everything, but I'm super excited."
Stones, who has been capped 10 times by England, leaves Everton after making 95 appearances in 3½ years, having moved from Barnsley for £3m in January 2013.
The Toffees rejected repeated bids from Chelsea last summer for Stones, the last of which amounted to £30m, when new Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho was in charge at Stamford Bridge.
Mourinho's old nemesis has managed to tempt Stones across the city, though, with Guardiola depleted in the centre-back region due to injuries to Vincent Kompany, Nicolas Otamendi and Eliaquim Mangala.
"We want to help John show his quality with us and improve on what he has already achieved," Guardiola said. "I like the way he plays the game and I'm looking forward to welcoming him into the squad."
Stones revealed that playing under the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich coach was one of the main reasons he agreed the switch.
"I always know there's a lot of improvement for my game personally," Stones added.
"I think it's 110 per cent the right decision to play under him.
"I'm so thankful I've got this opportunity to come here, train with the best and improve day in, day out.
"He's a winner and that's what's going to rub off on everyone."
Although confirmation of his move arrived yesterday, Stones was registered on City's Champions League play-off squad list prior to the midnight deadline.
A Uefa spokesman clarified that the governing body had automatically published the list given to it by City and that Stones was eligible to feature against Steaua Bucharest next Tuesday.
Two players who were omitted from that squad were Samir Nasri and Wilfried Bony.
Nasri was deemed overweight by Guardiola when he returned to pre-season training earlier this summer, while former Swansea striker Bony may have fallen further down the pecking order with the arrival of Nolito.
Meanwhile, Everton have moved swiftly to sign Stones' replacement. A £12m bid for Swansea and Wales international captain Ashley Williams, 31, was accepted yesterday, reported BBC. - PA Sport.
CITY’S OTHER SIGNINGS
- Ilkay Guendogan (midfielder, from Borussia Dortmund, £21m)
- Aaron Mooy (midfielder, from Melbourne City, free, loaned to Huddersfield)
- Nolito (forward, from Celta Vigo, £14m)
- Oleksandr Zinchenko (midfielder, from Shakhtar Donetsk, £1.7m)
- Leroy Sane (winger, from Schalke, £37m)
- Gabriel Jesus (forward, from Palmeiras, £27m, loaned to Palmeiras till January)
- Marlos Moreno (forward, from Atletico National, £4.5m, loaned to Deportivo La Coruna)