John Stones said the chance to play under Pep Guardiola tempted him to Manchester City after completing a £47.5m move from Everton yesterday.
The fee is a record transfer fee for a British defender and 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 Gundogan, Leroy Sane and Gabriel Jesus in Guardiola’s first transfer window.
Stones revealed playing under the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich coach was one of the main reasons why he agreed the switch.
“I always know there’s a lot of improvement for my game personally,” Stones said.
“I think it’s 110% the right decision to play under him. I’m so thankful I’ve got this chance 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.”
The move was confirmed yesterday, shortly after Stones had been included in City’s Champions League squad list on Uefa’s official website, and 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.
“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 on 10 occasions by England, leaves Everton after making 95 appearances in three and a half years having moved from Barnsley for £3million 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 at the Bridge helm.
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.
Two players who were omitted from the Champions League squad were Samir Nasri and Wilfried Bony.
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