Chelsea appear to be ending their interest in Everton defender John Stones after a fourth bid of £37 million was rejected.
The Goodison Park club have insisted on numerous occasions that Stones was not for sale and rejected his transfer request yesterday, however Chelsea were still confident a deal could be agreed with the right figure.
Having had three previous offers rejected, the asking price for the England international was bumped up from £30m to £40m, and the Stamford Bridge club's latest offer still falls short of that fee.
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The Blues have been chasing Stones all summer and according to the Mirror, they are close to admitting defeat in their chase as bidding threatens to reach ridiculous levels.
The Merseyside club's attempts to buy-out the 15% sell on fee from Barnsley is seen as a resounding no to Chelsea's latest offer.
Jose Mourinho has been actively trying to strengthen his defence over the summer with Abdul Baba Rahman joining from FC Augsburg.
But if the club want to sign another central defender before the window closes it appears they will have to turn their attentions away from Stones, with Everton playing hard ball.
TERRY IS NOT FINISHED
Concerns over current captain John Terry have surfaced this season following two disastrous displays at Manchester City and West Brom.
To imply that Terry's Chelsea career is over is far from the truth. The former England international enjoyed one of his most successful seasons at Stamford Bridge last season.
In the two away games where the 34-year-old has been substituted and sent off, he has been left extremely exposed by his central midfielders.
While another centre back would be a bonus for the club, another midfielder is an absolute necessity. Whether they can get a player in before the window closes remains to be seen.