Manchester United could enter into a bidding war with Chelsea next summer over the signing of Everton defender John Stones.
According to reports from the British press, Manchester United have made Stones their top priority signing next summer, as they draw up their post-season recruitment plans following their shock exit from the Champions League group stages.
As we all know, Stones was a reported summer target of Premier League giants Chelsea, and had three bids rejected for the 21-year-old highly rated defender.
Stones has been in impressive form this season as well and has caught the attention of European champions Barcelona. Naturally, Everton won’t sell him for cheap. It would require a massive, massive and record breaking transfer fee to lure him away from the Goodison Park.
Everton had rejected Chelsea’s final offer of £38m for Stones in the summer, so it may require a bid in excess of £50m (a record breaking fee for a defender) to secure his signature.
Manchester United are hopeful they have an advantage over Chelsea (provided the Blues drop out of Champions League) should a bidding war emerge.
The Red Devils have a fine track record of shelling big money on young defenders. They shelled out £29m back in 2002, when the club signed Rio Ferdinand from Leeds United, and spent £27m on 20-year-old (then 18-year-old) Luke Shaw in 2014.