Chelsea will have to look for central defensive options elsewhere, as reports from ESPN suggest that Everton will resist an offer in the region of £30m for defender John Stones.
The Premier League champions have had two bids rejected last month, but per Guardian, the Blues were ready to test Everton’s resolve with a massive £30m bid for the young defender.
Chelsea camp sees Stones as an ideal long replacement for skipper John Terry, but it seems Everton are determined to keep their prized asset at the club.
According to ESPN, Everton will continue to reject the offers, unless the bidding for Stones reaches a level where they won’t be able to resist. Roberto Martinez has told Sky Sports that he views the transfer interest in Stones and Ross Barkley are basically a compliment to his club.
“Players like Stones and Ross Barkley have an incredible future and will attract interest from the outside,” the Everton boss said “As a football club these players are going to be a part of our success in the future, so we take [interest] as a positive compliment.”
Interestingly, Stones has yet to comment on his future, while Jose Mourinho has hinted Chelsea will not raise the bid much higher for the England international.
Manchester United are also reportedly interested in the Everton defender. Louis van Gaal may need a good centre back in the summer, but the Red Devils have other transfer targets as well.
Former United defender Rio Ferdinand has urged United to sign Stones in the summer. As it stands, Stones is likely to remain with the Toffees, unless Chelsea or United come up with a huge bid forcing the club to enter into a transfer negotiation.