Manchester United are monitoring Chelsea target John Stones

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Manchester United are ready to rival Chelsea for the services of John Stones as manager Louis van Gaal continues to monitor the highly rated Everton defender closely.

That's according to the Sunday People, who suggest the 21-year-old could be on his way out of Goodison Park when the transfer window reopens this summer after attracting admiring glances from a host of elite Premier League suitors.

Blues boss Jose Mourinho was thought to be the frontrunner for the England U21 international's signature having identified him as a player to strengthen the newly crowned champions' home-grown quota in west London.

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However, the Red Devils have now joined the race for the versatile stopper, who can operate in central defence as well as at right-back.

Van Gaal is in the market for players in both of those aforementioned positions and that's probably why he's so keen to lure the former Barnsely man to Old Trafford, aside from the fact he's regarded as one of the brightest young talents in the country.

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The Toffees can expect to receive significantly more than the £3 million they paid to bring Stones to Merseyside in January 2013, particularly now that he's considered one of the best ball-playing central defenders around.

There's already a premium placed on the heads of up-and-coming English talent, and his price-tag is likely to increase even further given the widespread interest he's attracting from a number of different suitors.

Currently away with Gareth Southgate's Young Lions squad at the European U21 Championships in the Czech Republic, a deal won't come to fruition until after the tournament's completion, so Manchester United and Chelsea supporters will both have to wait patiently for a formal announcement.

Where do you think John Stones would be better off moving - Chelsea or Manchester United? Or should he stay another season with Roberto Martinez at Everton? Share your thoughts in the comment box below...

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