The Stamford Bridge outfit have already made bids of £20 million and £26 million, both of which have been rejected, and the next one could total around £30 million according to the Mail. Manchester United have also been linked to the defender [Daily Mirror], but is seems that the London-based club are more advanced in their transfer proceedings and may be set to pip their title rivals for the player.
Toffees boss Roberto Martinez has admitted that the England international has become unsettled due to the rumours about his future, but still expects him to stay at Goodison Park [Sky Sports].
“Obviously that’s something that you hope that he’ll learn from and you get more mature and those experiences are good experiences,” said Martinez.
“The bad situations that you suffer as a player are when you are injured, when you are not in the team, when you cannot reach a certain level and you cannot enjoy your football.
“Clearly John is one of the outstanding young talents that we have in the squad and you’re going to get that sort of attraction and that interest from the outside. Everything has been handled in a good manner and I just understand that that’s a positive.
“When you’ve got a young talent doing well, having important roles – young players like Romelu Lukaku, Ross Barkley, John Stones have had very important roles throughout this season – you’re going to get that sort of interest. John is an Everton player and there’s nothing else to comment on that.”
Captain Phil Jagielka has also mentioned that the youngster is being affected by the links [Liverpool Echo]: “It is not an easy scenario, it is difficult for John.”
Jagielka continued: “He is dealing with it really well. It is nice when people want you and all sorts, but it is a bit mind boggling when all sorts of numbers are thrown in the papers. It is strange the way the transfer window is open while the season starts.
“For me it should be shut in the first week of August and then everyone has their squad for the season. I have told him just keep doing what he does because there is a reason why people want to sign you. It is a little bit of test for him now. It is a test of character and we all know he has a good character.
“He is a level-headed lad. It is easy for people to let it go to their heads or decide not to be totally committed. But if you look at his performance on Saturday then he is a good lad and these little tests in his career will make him stronger.”
If the centre-back does leave the Merseyside outfit, then it will leave them with the aforementioned Jagielka as their only senior centre-back. Brendan Galloway and Tyias Browning are two younger players in the squad who can play in the position, but neither have done it for the first team in a competitive match.
The Toffees have been linked with a move for River Plate ace Ramiro Funes Mori [The Guardian], but if they lose their star player then it is likely that at least two arrivals will be needed to compensate. With Tom Cleverley and Gerard Deulofeu their only signings so far this summer, there should certainly be some money to spend on the area.