Everton manager Roberto Martinez has accused John Terry of attempting to tap up John Stones in an ongoing effort from Chelsea to unsettle the defender.
Chelsea have been publicly pursuing a deal for the 21-year-old centre-back this summer and have seen two bids knocked back by the Toffees.
Terry, Gary Cahill and Jose Mourinho have all spoken publicly about Chelsea's interest, which in itself is a breach of Premier League guidelines.
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Their comments have infuriated Martinez, who insists he does not want to sell Stones under such circumstances.
The Blues captain, who spoke on Wednesday about Stones, said: “One day I won’t be in the team but Chelsea are looking to the likes of John Stones for the future, so the club will continue to grow and do well.”
"We all know there are rules and regulations and it is something we don’t want to see when other clubs speak about your players"
Martinez says the comments were a breach of Premier League rules and a deliberate attempt to tap up Stones. However, Everton have yet to make a formal complaint to the authorities.
That is illegal
“That is wrong; that is illegal,” said Martinez on Terry’s comment. “The rules don’t allow you to comment on players who are registered at other clubs in that open manner. That is disappointing.”
“We have a fantastic relationship between the two clubs. In the past we made our biggest investment in Chelsea [Romelu Lukaku].
"We all know there are rules and regulations and it is something we don’t want to see when other clubs speak about your players. It is wrong and it shouldn’t happen. As clubs we have a good understanding of where we are.”
Chelsea could sign Stones if they agreed to pay the £30m asking price the Toffees are reportedly asking for, but it appears the Blues are trying to drive down the price by unsettling Stones.
It is a tactic Mourinho and Roman Abramovich applied when pursuing Arsenal star Ashley Cole in 2005.
Mourinho was fined £200,000 while Chelsea were given a suspended three-point deduction for meeting Cole in a London hotel. If they are proven guilty of the same crime, the Premier League could choose to activate that three-point deduction.
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