Manchester City have confirmed that they have signed Everton defender John Stones on a six-year deal.
City announced the transfer had been completed shortly after UEFA revealed the club had included Stones in their Champions League squad for the playoff with Steaua Bucharest, with the first leg taking place on Wednesday.
City have reportedly paid around £47.5m for the England defender, who will wear the No. 24 shirt, and Everton said they had received a club-record amount.
CONFIRMED: John Stones has today joined Manchester City for a record transfer fee. #EFC
– Everton (@Everton) August 9, 2016
Stones could make his City debut in the Premier League opener against Sunderland on Saturday, which will be Pep Guardiola’s first official game in charge, and the 22-year-old said he cannot wait to make his debut.
“I can’t believe that I’m here playing for such a big club and the best manager in the world. It all seems so surreal,” he told the club’s official website.
“It will take a few weeks to settle in and get my head around everything but I’m super excited.”
We are delighted to announce the signing of John Stones https://t.co/vLYKEPByQZ #WelcomeJohn pic.twitter.com/Qs4Ab0UN45
– Manchester City (@ManCity) August 9, 2016
Stones added that he was looking forward to working under Guardiola and believes the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich coach can improve him.
“I hope he can bring out everything in me. I always know that there’s a lot of improvement for my game personally,” he said.
“It’s 110 percent 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, day out.
“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.”
Guardiola wanted a ball-playing centre-half and confirmed he wanted Stones on City’s preseason tour to China, but the two clubs were struggling to reach a deal with City offering £40m and Everton holding out for £50m.
City’s director of football, Txiki Begiristain, said he was delighted to sign the former Barnsley player.
“John is an excellent young English defender and we are all really pleased he is joining us,” he said. “We have worked hard to bring him to City and we feel we are signing one of the best central defenders in Europe.”
Guardiola added: “We want to help John show his quality with us and improve on what he has already achieved.
“I like the way he plays the game and I’m looking forward to welcoming him into the squad.”
Stones becomes City’s eighth signing of the summer, following deals for Ilkay Gundogan, Nolito, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Aaron Mooy, Leroy Sane, Gabriel Jesus and Marlos Moreno.