Transfer Balls: Chelsea break the bank for Everton’s John Stones
Chelsea are desperate to land Everton’s John Stones. Having failed to impress The Toffees with a John Terry-led charm offensive (and how could that have failed?!), and bids of £20, £26m and £30m the Blues will need to come again with an even bigger offer.
The Liveprool Echo says the winning bid will be £40m. That’s an absurd amount of money for a player with four England caps and less than 50 Premier League matches under his belt, but if Raheem Sterling is worth £49m who can argue?
The Guardian says Chelsea are “considering” that £40m. It notes that Stones, who has four years remaining on his Everton contract, “has not agitated for a move… his form for and commitment to Martínez’s side to date this term has been exemplary.”
His Everton teammates agree. Steven Naismith is quoted in the Indy:
“I think the club’s stance on it has been pretty straightforward and the manager is looking forward with Stonesey in the team. The manager has mentioned wanting to bring in three more players in to strengthen, and I don’t think anyone has ever thought about Stonesey moving on… John has gone about his business day-to-day in training in such a professional manner. He has then taken that into the games, because he has been one of the stronger performers in the team since the start of the season.”
Chelsea have noticed. Blues manger Jose Mourinho has called his defence “fragile” after their 3-0 defeat by Manchester City. He’s desperate. And Everton, who hold all the cards, know it…