Gunners willing to pay big money for Toffees starlet.Arsenal could be willing to pay as much as £25m to sign Everton defender John Stones this January, according to sources close to the club.
The Gunners have shown a change in approach in the transfer market in recent times, breaking their transfer record to sign Mesut Ozil for £42.5m last summer, followed up by the £35m signing of Alexis Sanchez from Barcelona this year.
Arsene Wenger has also paid fairly big money to sign promising youngster Calum Chambers from Southampton, spending around £16m on the versatile 19-year-old this summer, and he is now targeting another of English football’s brightest prospects.
Stones, 20, has been in outstanding form for Roberto Martinez’s side in the last few months, earning himself a call-up to the senior England squad by Roy Hodgson and attracting interest from the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea.
The highly-regarded prospect is now thought to be in Arsenal’s sights ahead of January, with Wenger desperate to strengthen at the back after failing to find a replacement for Thomas Vermaelen before the end of the summer transfer deadline.
Some big names such as Mats Hummels of Borussia Dortmund and Ron Vlaar of Aston Villa have been touted as possible targets for the Gunners, but Stones is also well admired by Wenger, who is being tipped to spend big again in the winter as he looks to continue strengthening his squad.
It remains to be seen if £25m will prove enough for Everton to consider selling Stones, with the Toffees known to have slapped a £50m price tag onto the head of another of their prized assests Ross Barkley, whose asking price successfully disuaded Manchester City for bidding for him in the summer.