Jose Mourinho’s first-choice central defensive partnership of John Terry and Gary Cahill, at ages 34 and 29 respectively, will surely need renovation and refreshing soon, and the Chelsea manager would do well to bring alternative long-term options.
Young Blues star Kurt Zouma is a very able centre-back, but last term the former Saint-Etienne man excelled in a defensive midfield role that may better suit his talents moving forward.
The Daily Telegraph state that Chelsea have failed with two previous bids for John Stones and that Everton will struggle to turn down an offer of £30m.
Roberto Martinez has seen a number of his first-team stars linked with summer exits, with Kevin Mirallas tipped for a move to West Ham United (via The Daily Mail) and Romelu Lukaku said to be a Man United target (via the London Evening Standard).
Last season, Everton’s Europa League activity had a detrimental effect on their Premier League standing, with the Merseyside outfit finishing outside the top half of the table for the first time since 2006.
Everton signed John Stones from Barnsley in January 2013 and the versatile defender, who can also play at full-back as well as in a central defensive role, is now a regular in Roy Hodgson’s England national team set-up.