Chelsea are looking to submit yet another formal offer, their fourth bid, for Everton defender John Stones before the close of the transfer window, according to reports from The Times.
Everton have maintained their stance that they will not part ways with their highly rated England defender and have had rejected three – £20 million, £26 million, and £30 million – bids from the Premier League Champions already.
Chelsea have made a stuttering start to the season and have collected only one point from their opening two games. Jose Mourinho has privately requested the Chelsea board to grant him three more signings in the aftermath of the 3-0 defeat to Manchester City last Sunday. The Blues are therefore expected to make at least one more bid for Stones before the transfer window closes on September 1.
The London giants could break the British transfer record for a defender (eclipsing £31.9m Manchester City paid for Eliaquim Mangala last summer), as per reports from The Guardian, by putting in a bid in the region of £40m for Stones.
The London club are keen to sign a young, English centre defender, who could become a long term replacement of skipper John Terry. Jose Mourinho believes Stones fits all the bills perfectly required to be a top defender at Chelsea, as a result the Blues are not looking for options elsewhere.
The 21-year-old defender hasn’t pushed for a move yet, despite being wooed by Mourinho, Terry and Cahill to switch his allegiance to Stamford Bridge, and there are suggestions that the scenario is not likely to change.
Every player has a price, and Roberto Martinez cannot do anything to prevent Stones if Chelsea offer anything more than £35m for the England defender. The club probably are prepared for the possibility of his departure. The Toffees have identified Virgil van Dijk, the Celtic defender, as a potential replacement should Stones leave before the transfer deadline.
Manchester United are also thought to be interested in Stones, but the Red Devils haven’t yet submitted any formal bid for the Everton defender. Having missed out on Sergio Ramos and Nicolas Otamendi – the two major defensive targets – Louis van Gaal may opt to enter into a bidding war with Chelsea over the signing of Stones.
Meanwhile, Chelsea have completed the £22m signing of Pedro Rodriguez from Barcelona yesterday. The 28-year-old was expected to join Manchester United (having agreed personal terms with the Red Devils) but in a dramatic turn of events, the Spain international joined Chelsea instead, after undergoing a medical and agreeing personal terms on Wednesday.
Pedro is expected to be included in Chelsea’s squad for Sunday’s Barclays Premier League game away to West Bromwich Albion.