Everton thought that they were about to sign John Stones in the summer before the chances of a move were scuppered because of Eric Garcia, according to a report from The Athletic.
Stones has endured a mixed time since leaving Goodison Park in 2016. He has not kicked on as many may have expected he would.
The 26-year-old only made 12 Premier League starts last season. And with Pep Guardiola bringing in both Nathan Ake and Ruben Dias over the summer, it appeared from the outside, that his future at the Etihad looked uncertain.
And indeed, it seems that he did come close to leaving. In fact, The Athletic has suggested that he looked set to return to Merseyside.
According to the report, Everton thought that they were set to sign Stones. However, City decided that they needed to keep the Englishman when Garcia decided that he wanted to join Barcelona.
It is noted that Garcia’s stance caught City off-guard.
TBR View: Everton may not rue not signing Stones despite his recent form
It appears that neither Everton or Manchester City have really lost out from Stones’s potential move falling through.
The £182,000-a-week star (Telegraph) has been outstanding in recent weeks. And the Cityzens boast the best defensive record in the Premier League right now.
Meanwhile, Carlo Ancelotti’s men sit inside the top four in the table. And the likes of Michael Keane, Yerry Mina and Ben Godfrey have been superb.