John Stones now 4/6 to become a Chelsea player this summer, with champions set to bid £34 million for defender
Chelsea appear determined to land the signature of John Stones this summer, with the central defender having caught the eye of Jose Mourinho last season.
The 21-year-old has only made 44 appearances for Everton since arriving from Barnsley in 2013, although Mourinho has identified the England international as someone who can effectively replace John Terry over the next few years at Stamford Bridge.
The Toffees have already rejected a bid of £20 million for Stones, with Roberto Martinez unhappy with the way in which the offer was made public, although it’s virtually certain that an increased offer of £26 million will be made.
Sky Bet offer 4/6 that Stones signs for Chelsea before the January transfer window closes, with Everton 11/10 to successfully hold their ground and deny the London club until the end of August.
While Stones would be regarded as a long-term investment, it is believed that Mourinho would look to field the versatile player for several games next season, with Chelsea competing on four fronts including the Champions League.
Terry might have to be used sparingly at his stage of his career, with Gary Cahill and Kurt Zouma also providing centre-half options for the Blues, although Stones is also able to fill in at right-back as deputy for Branislav Ivanovic.
“There is the disappointment of a club making a statement to the press and making it openly,” said Martinez.
“I don’t think we’d do it and speak about a player. John Stones is an Everton player, full stop.
“We are not a selling club. We are not a club that needs to be worried about what other clubs put through the press.”
But Mourinho told Sky Sports: “When the transfer window is open, every club and player is open to bids.
“Bids come for our players and we make bids for other players. The process can be so simple.
“I would advise Roberto Martinez to do the same thing I do. If I don’t want to accept any offer, I say ‘I don’t accept any offer’. He can make it very, very easy.”