Sky Sports took to their Twitter account to post the breaking news:
BREAKING: Sky Sources: John Stones hands in transfer request at Everton. #SSNHQ
— Sky Sports News HQ (@SkySportsNewsHQ) August 25, 2015
There had previously been suggestions that Stones would hand in a transfer request in order to force a move; however, Roberto Martinez, the Everton manager, insisted that this was not the case at all, implying that he expected the youngster to remain at Goodison Park this season.
When asked if there had been a transfer request from Stones, Martinez said: “No, not at all,” as quoted by Sky Sports at the end of last week.
Meanwhile Jon Woods, Everton director, also claimed that Bill Kenwright, the chairman, would not agree to Stones’s sale.
“I won’t sell him, Bill won’t sell him, because there aren’t many days to go,” said Woods, as quoted by The Guardian.
However, the 21-year-old appears to have taken matters into his own hands, and looks to have turned his head away from Merseyside.
The Daily Express, on Monday night, reported their understanding that Chelsea were set to return with a fourth offer, which would be near the £40 million mark – therefore likely to make the England international the most expensive defensive signing in British history.
Former Manchester United captain Rio Ferdinand currently holds the British record at £30m, while Manchester City centre-back Eliaquim Mangala holds the Premier League record at £31.9m [via the Daily Mail].
Stones could be considered as the long-term successor to Chelsea captain John Terry.
But with Terry’s tumultuous start to the Blues’ title-defending campaign – in which he was substituted at half-time in their defeat to Manchester City and then shown a red card against West Bromwich Albion the following week – Stones could very well be an instant replacement to the Stamford Bridge legend.