Andy Gray in convinced that Everton star John Stones will be a Chelsea player before the transfer window comes to a close on September 1.
That is despite the fact that the Toffees today rejected a bid worth £30m from the west London club. It was the third unsuccessful offer to make its way from Stamford Bridge to Goodison Park this summer.
Gray, speaking to talkSPORT, believes Roberto Martinez has not heard to last from Jose Mourinho and expects the Blues boss to come back with a definitive offer in the near future.
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The former Everton star said: “Chelsea see John Stones as the ideal replacement for John Terry, without a shadow of doubt, so it is a case of how much he is worth to Chelsea.
“I think Everton know that now. That is maybe why Chelsea will have to up the ante a bit but I do think sometime this month Chelsea will take John Stones and make him their player.
“I would be amazed if, at the end of August, John Stones is still at Everton.”
The final fee
There is no consensus on Everton's actually asking price for Stones Different publications wll tell you different prices, ranging from £34million all the way to £40m.
But having already shown a willingness to spend big, Chelsea are likely to increase their offer to at least £35m in the coming days. Gray expects the final fee to fall somewhere between £35m and £40m.
He also believes that Martinez is already preparing for Stones' departure and will have several replacements in the pipeline.
"I would be very surprised if Roberto hasn’t got something set up should the deal happen so he is ready to move when it does"
Gray continued: “It is still a work in progress for Roberto Martinez and if the bid is £35million to £40million I don’t think Everton can turn that down.
"I would be very surprised if Roberto hasn’t got something set up should the deal happen so he is ready to move when it does – and I think he will be ready.
“Everton are not at the stage now where they can look at everything and say we don’t have to sell any of our players. We do, it is as simple as that, and I think it will happen.
“It’s sad but if £30million to £40million comes in and Roberto spends it well, there is absolutely no reason why Everton can’t benefit from it.”
Interest from Manchester
Chelsea may, however, have to fend off interest from Manchester United before they can land this potential Terry replacement. The Red Devils are supposedly waiting in the wings if Everton do agree to sell.
Some reports have suggested that once the Blues finally agree a fee, not only Manchester United but Manchester City will launch matching bids. However, Chelsea remain in the driving seat.