Roberto Martinez: We are not a selling club

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Everton remain determined to hang on to John Stones amid reports of a fresh £30 million bid being made for the defender by Chelsea, Press Association Sport understands.

The Toffees have already rejected offers of £20 million and £26 million from the Blues over the summer for the 21-year-old England international.

And while Everton would neither confirm nor deny talk on Tuesday that they had turned down a third bid of £30 million, it is understood the Merseyside outfit's stance on the matter has not changed.


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That is that Stones is not for sale - something stressed by Everton boss Roberto Martinez last week.

Speaking on Thursday, Martinez said: ''I have said before the player is not for sale and that is the end of it.

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''Our situation has been very clear from the beginning. We are not a selling club who will lose our best performers.

''He is very important player for us and we are looking forward to seeing the best of John over the next few seasons, not just the next few weeks.''

Speculation of Chelsea returning for Stones has heightened after John Terry was substituted by Jose Mourinho for the first time in 177 Premier League games during Sunday's 3-0 loss at Manchester City.

After the match, Mourinho said: "The point was not to take John out, but to put (Kurt) Zouma in. I want to have my fastest player on the pitch and not on the bench."

Mourinho has spoken of his lack of first-team defensive options, with five defenders before Baba Rahman's arrival made it six.

The 21-year-old Ghana left-back signed from Bundesliga side Augsburg on Sunday evening.

Speaking prior to the start of the campaign, which has begun with a Community Shield loss to Arsenal, a draw with Swansea and a loss to City, Mourinho said: "We have five defenders and we cannot go to the Premier League with five defenders. That's our weakness. Five is not enough. That's obvious."

Mourinho was also asked how many defenders he needed ahead of the season curtain-raiser.

"Seven plus a quality kid," he said, saying Ola Aina would be promoted to the first-team squad when needed.

It means Chelsea still have one defensive position to fill, but Mourinho has also spoken of a determination for his side to continue to show their new-found financial restraint.

It is something Everton may test.

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