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Report: Pep Guardiola, Jose Mourinho battling over John Stones transfer

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Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

One of the hottest transfer targets in football has sparked a bidding war between the Manchester giants.

According to reports in England, Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho, who will take over Manchester City and Manchester United this summer, have both shortlisted Everton center-back John Stones as a summer target, and are prepared to bid over £45 million to sign the 21-year-old.

Guardiola wants to build his new team starting from the defense, and Stones would be the main piece of the new back four along with Athletic Bilbao prospect Aymeric Laporte. Both are great defenders with good qualities on the ball, something the new City manager values greatly in that position. They're also young, and would be the foundation of the Citizens' defense for many years, growing together into the best center-back pairing in the Premier League.

But Mourinho is also keen on bringing in Stones. He offered as much as £40 million when he was still Chelsea manager last summer, and he hasn't given up on the player even though he's switched clubs. Man United have a good defense, but it wouldn't hurt to add a player of Stones' talents to the squad.

Guardiola and Mourinho became football rivals in Spain. Now they'll be also market rivals in England. That should be fun.