Chelsea are likely to miss out on England defender John Stones, as Everton are determined to keep hold of their prized asset beyond the summer transfer window.
The Premier League Champions, have had three bids rejected for Stones already, but the the Blues were looking to make one final attempt to lure the defender with a bid in the region of £40m.
Despite suggestions that Stones could make a transfer request, the England defender has distanced himself from making any public comments, which shows his strong commitment to the Everton project.
Roberto Martinez, the Everton manager, has praised Stones for his brilliant performance against Manchester City, despite ending up in a losing cause.
Jon Woods, the Everton director was heard telling a fan, reported by The Times, that neither he nor Bill Kenwright, the club’s chairman will sanction the sale of Stones because “there aren’t many days to go” in the transfer window.
Martinez added: He said: “That is the plan and that is why we have been enjoying so much of his development. We have seen John grow in the last two years. We have our own objectives and want to become a winning team.
“It puts a smile on your face when you see a player like John defending the way he does. He is an incredible footballer and to be able to organise things at such a young age shows what a talented footballer he is.”
Manchester United are also thought to be interested in signing Stones, but the Red Devils have yet to lodge any formal bid for the England international.
Meanwhile, Everton are closing in on deals to sign Leandro Rodriguez from River Plate and Ramiro Mori from the same club.