John Stones could sign for Chelsea before the World Cup

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Football News

Chelsea are hoping to beat Arsenal and Manchester United to the signature of John Stones, and plan to complete a £12 million deal for the Everton defender before the World Cup this summer.

The Sunday People reports how the 19-year-old has attracted widespread interest in the Premier League following an impressive debut season at Goodison Park.

Twelve months ago, Stones was playing Championship football with Barnsley, but has enjoyed a meteoric rise to stardom that has resulted in a place on the standby list for Roy Hodgson's England squad heading to Brazil next month.

Stones will travel with the Three Lions should Manchester United defender Phil Jones fail to recover fully from a shoulder injury suffered in the penultimate game of the campaign.

David Moyes actually scouted the teen talent prior to leaving Everton for Manchester United last summer, and the £3 million paid has proven to be one of the best buys in the top flight this past year.

The Red Devils had been credited with an interest in bringing Stones to Old Trafford, but following Moyes's departure in April those plans might now be put on hold.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is another alleged admirer of the versatile defender, who is equally comfortable playing at centre-back as well as on the right side of defence.

However, a move to the Emirates Stadium also appears increasingly unlikely as Jose Mourinho steps up his pursuit of the Toffees star, despite the fact he is blessed with great strength in the full-back position.

Branislav Ivanovic and Cesar Azpilicueta are both capable right-backs, while the central defensive partnership of Gary Cahill and John Terry will be together for at least another season after the Chelsea captain penned a one-year contract extension to prolong his stay at Stamford Bridge.

Either way, Stones looks set for a bright future in the game having shown composure far beyond his years this season. Roberto Martinez deserves high praise for putting his faith in the precocious young talent, who has shined in the Everton team this year.

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