Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has provided an update on the Blues’ pursuit of Everton centre-back John Stones, with the new season just days away from kick off, dropping a major hint that he will not be making another approach for the player.
The Premier League champions have made two bids for the England international – of £20m and £25m [both Daily Star] – both of which have been rejected by the Toffees.
Darren Lewis of the Mirror, speaking on talkSPORT, has claimed that Chelsea are desperate to sign the defender, and are poised to return with a improved third offer; however, Mourinho has indicated that he will not be moving for the centre-back, suggesting that he considers the champions’ business to be done.
“For me the transfer window is over,” the Portuguese manager began, as quoted by The Guardian.
“I don’t like the transfer window open when the competition starts. I know it is open, I know my club can buy or sell, but I don’t like that feeling. As a coach I am thinking about my players, my squad, and I don’t want to think about transfers. Clubs and players need quiet time and respect when the competition starts.
“Imagine a Swansea player plays against Chelsea on Saturday and then goes to Manchester City, then he plays against Chelsea again the next week. I cannot get that into my head.”
When asked specifically about his interest in Stones, Mourinho cryptically replied, “What happens happens, but I won’t lose any time thinking about the transfer window,” suggesting that while making new additions is no longer his top priority, the move may not be completely dead.
Former Manchester United captain and defender Rio Ferdinand recently claimed that Stones would be a ‘lunatic’ to swap Goodison Park for Stamford Bridge, stating that he would experience far superior playing opportunities at Old Trafford.
“If he goes to Chelsea, he’s not playing every week,” Ferdinand was quoted by BBC Sport as saying.
“If you tell any young footballer to leave a club to sit on the bench, you’ve got to be a lunatic.
“He’s at that stage of his development where he wants to play every week.
“If he goes to Manchester United, he plays every week so that’s the right club for him.”
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The Daily Star reported that Stones’s move to Chelsea was being held up as a result of a sell-on agreement with his former side Barnsley.
According to the British newspaper, Everton would be required to give the League One side 15% of any future transfer fee.
Despite Mourinho’s comments concerning his transfer plans, the club are still expected to complete a move for Ghana left-back Abdul Rahman Baba, with Goal reporting that personal terms have already been agreed with the player.