Everton centre-back John Stones, 21, is a player on Chelsea's radar as a potential successor to defensive stalwart John Terry, 34. Everton, however, are demanding a high price for the English international.
The Blues have already had two offers rejected, the second being £26 million. The Toffees are reluctant to sell and look to be holding out for a bid of around £34 million.
This would be a British record fee for a defender surpassing Manchester United’s £29 million for Rio Ferdinand from Leeds United in 2002.
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Despite all the speculation surrounding the youngster Everton have made it clear that they do not want to sell him. They recently released French centre-back Sylvain Distin, 37, and are in danger of being left exposed at the back if Stones was to depart.
The interest from both Chelsea and Manchester City is dangerous for Everton as their transfer plans may be halted. The Liverpool outfit have only made two signings so far this transfer window in the form of Tom Cleverley (free) and Gerard Deulofeu (£4.2 million).
This looked to be a strong platform on which to bolster their squad but no more deals seem to be on the cards.
Everton can reject all the offers they like but they may have to sell Stones so that Martinez isn’t left floundering at the start of the season. Everton have already rejected two bids from the Premier League champions with the latest reaching £26 million.
Everton may be reluctant to sell, but a £34 million bid may change their mind.
With Chelsea receiving £10 million from Petr Cech’s move to Arsenal and making few transfers this summer, they have some money to spend.
As much as Everton would like to keep John Stones, they can’t turn down money forever and they need to bring in some fresh talent. It is only a matter of time before we see him playing in a different shade of blue.