Manchester United are hopeful that their offer of a large cash sum plus Jonny Evans will help them beat Chelsea to Everton star John Stones, according to ESPN.
Old Trafford sources have told the news outlet that they believe their offer will be much more appealing to the Toffees rather than a simple exchange of tender.
Chelsea have been openly pursuing Stones for several weeks with Jose Mourinho believed to have made two offers of £20million and £26m. An offer of £30m was believed to be ready, but Everton have already told the Blues such an offer would be rejected.
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Some sources believe that Roberto Martinez is holding out for as much as £35m while others simply think that Chelsea's public pursuit has alienated officials at Goodison Park. If the latter is true, Manchester United have the upper hand.
Martinez has already made is contempt clear, calling John Terry's comments on Stones "illegal" and accusing the Chelsea captain of tapping up his player.
Their interest in the 21-year-old has been documented, but has remained very much private in an official sense.
Ed Woodward is working as discreetly as possible as he tries to sneak under Chelsea and into prime position to sign Stones.
Everton have a long-term interest in Evans and the Northern Ireland international was tipped to join the club in an £8m deal earlier this summer.
Those reports proved to be untrue, but the chance to sign him as part of a deal for Stones will certainly make losing the young England international easier to swallow.
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