Chelsea to make improved bid of £26m to sign Manchester United target

Blues ready second offer for Premier League starlet.

Chelsea are said to be readying a second bid to sign Everton defender and rumoured Manchester United and Manchester City target John Stones, according to the Daily Mail.

The England international has impressed some of the biggest clubs in the top flight with his remarkable rise at Goodison Park in the last couple of seasons, with the 21-year-old already a senior member of the England squad and a key figure for Roberto Martinez’s defence.

The Daily Mirror reported earlier today that Chelsea had seen a £20m bid for Stones turned down by Everton, and that their interest could also see United and City step up their efforts to land the in-demand youngster.

Chelsea now hope an improved offer can turn things in their favour, with Blues boss Jose Mourinho seemingly keen to add to his defence for next season due to a lack of real depth in that area, with only French youngster Kurt Zouma as a genuine backup option to Gary Cahill and John Terry, the latter of whom is 34 years of age and possibly heading towards the end of his career at the top level.

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Stones would be an ideal long-term replacement for Terry at Stamford Bridge, having shown maturity beyond his years in his short career so far, reminiscent of the Blues captain when he was a young player first coming through in the west Londoners’ first-team.

The Mail adds, however, that Everton would want a fee of around £30m to let Stones go this summer.

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