Chelsea are set to make an improved offer of £26 million for talented Everton defender John Stones in the coming days.
This has been reported by the Daily Mail, who claim the Stamford Bridge outfit have already seen an opening offer of £20m rejected for the English youngster, who will be offered the No.6 shirt at the club if he completes the move before the close of the transfer window.
Stone, of course, is recognised as one of the leading young defenders in the country, having gone from strength-to-strength at the Merseyside outfit in recent time.
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Unsurprisingly, then, Jose Mourinho and Co. are seemingly determined to bring him to west London sooner rather than later despite Everton being reluctant to let him leave Goodison Park behind.
The same report from the Mail claims that the Toffees won't sanction any deal for their rising star unless the Blues offer in excess of £30m.
In fact, things could get even harder for the Blues in their pursuit of Stones, with the Mail going on to suggest that both Manchester United and Manchester City could swoop for the versatile star, if Everton give off the impression that they'd be willing to hand him a transfer.
Everton, then, have it all to do to keep hold of Stones, who is currently starring on the club's pre-season tour of Singapore.
Ideal for Chelsea
While the likes of Manchester United and Manchester City consider moves for Stones, Chelsea din't seem to be hanging around, and they're right to move now.
Ok, Stones isn't the finished article just yet, but he's one of the most exciting young defenders in England, and will no doubt become a regular for the national side in years to come.
Chelsea are clearly in need of a long-term John Terry replacement, with the club's captain approaching the final years of his career. Stones, then, may well be some way off Terry as it stands, but there's no reason why he can't go on to become a top-class defender.
And, if he was handed the opportunity to play alongside and learn from Terry, then he'd surely improve further, as he goes about making a success of his career.
The problem, of course, is the fee...Is Stones really worth £26m+? At this moment in time, the answer to that question would be no, but Chelsea would obviously be paying for potential. And Stones has a great deal of that.
Ok, it's a risk, but it could be one worth taking for the Stamford Bridge outfit. A future partnership of Stones and Kurt Zouma is most definitely an exciting one.
Chelsea fans: How much is Stones worth? Have your say below!