Chelsea are considering a fourth and final bid for Everton star John Stones worth £40million, reports The Guardian.
The Toffees have maintained that Stones is not for sale, but there is growing inevitability at Goodison Park that they will soon have no choice but to sell.
They have managed to push Jose Mourinho up from his original offer of £20m and the £40m that Chelsea may offer would make the 21-year-old Britain's most expensive defender.
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Reports on Tuesday claimed that Everton had rejected an offer of £30m, but The Telegraph said that Roberto Martinez would be ready to sell if an extra £10m was thrown on top.
Having seen his side outclassed by fellow Premier League title rivals Manchester City on Sunday, Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has given Mourinho the green light to spend big between now and the end of the window.
John Terry was substituted at half-time in that match, suggesting that the 34-year-old's time as a pivotal first-team star is coming to an end. Stones has already been labelled as a natural successor to the Blues captain and is keen to move to west London.
All of this has paved the way for Chelsea to match Everton's asking price for Stones, potential making the 21-year-old the sixth most expensive signing in Premier League history, just £2.4m behind Mesut Ozil and above the likes of Sergio Aguero and Alexis Sanchez.
Chelsea have recently completed the £21.7m signing of left-back Baba Rahman, who could potentially become the club's first-choice left-back if Branislav Ivanovic continues to struggle.
The Serbian was outclassed by Raheem Sterling several times on Sunday and could be replaced for Cesar Azpilicueta against West Brom. Rahman would then be free to occupy the left-back space.