Manchester City have signed England centre back John Stones from Everton as new manager Pep Guardiola continues to reshape his side for the start of the Premier League season.
City said in a statement on Tuesday that Stones had agreed an six-year contract at the Etihad Stadium, with British media putting the transfer fee at 47.5 million pounds ($61.7 million).
The 22-year-old, who was part of the England squad at Euro 2016 but did not feature as they crashed out in the last 16, was strongly linked with a move to Chelsea last year.
“John is an excellent young English defender and we are all really pleased he is joining us,” City director of football Txiki Begiristain told the club website.
“We have worked hard to bring him to City and we feel we are signing one of the best central defenders in Europe.”
Stones, who joined Everton from Barnsley in 2013 for three million pounds, became the world’s second most expensive defender after Brazilian David Luiz, who moved from Chelsea to Paris St Germain for 50 million pounds in 2014.
“Now the deal’s done I’m looking forward to the next stage in my career,” he said.
“I’ve obviously seen what’s going on here at the Etihad, it’s an ambitious Club with a great manager so I can’t wait to get stuck in and help achieve the goals.”
Spaniard Guardiola, who joined the Manchester club from Bayern Munich in the close season, has identified the defender as the perfect fit for his possession-based game.
City begin their Premier League campaign at home to Sunderland on August 13.