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Manchester giants 'enter the race' to sign John Stones

The lavish price tag on John Stones is not diluting speculation over his future
The lavish price tag on John Stones is not diluting speculation over his future

After Chelsea had a second £26m bid for John Stones rejected by Everton, it seems that both of the Manchester clubs are now expressing an interest in the in-demand defender.

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has made it clear that he wants to sign Stones this summer, with his club's two aggressive bids for the England youngster rebuffed by the Goodison Park club.

Now the football grapevine is awash with rumours that United are ready to join the bidding for Stones, despite the claims of Old Trafford sources that they would not target a defender in this summer's transfer window.

The less than convincing defensive displays of United's current central defenders on the club's tour of America in the last few days has done little to banish the idea that Louis van Gaal desperately needs a top quality defender in this transfer window.

Having tried and failed to sign Borussia Dortmund's Mats Hummels and Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos, it is clear that the United boss is keen to find a king pin to patrol the heart of his defence.

Yet it remains to be seen whether United will enter the bidding for Stones, with the £30m-plus valuation on a player who has made just 44 Premier League appearances appearing to be lavishly inflated.

City's eagerness to sign homegrown players has been highlighted by their moves for Raheem Sterling and Fabian Delph this summer, with Stones the kind of addition that would fit into the remodelled transfer policy being followed by the fallen Premier League champions this summer.