Stones to Chelsea: Manager confident of positive outcome in Everton transfer saga

Despite Jose Mourinho’s intentions to bring John Stones to Chelsea this summer, Everton manager Roberto Martinez appears confident of holding onto the player, according to the Liverpool Echo.

According to a report from the Guardian last week, Everton have rejected a £26m bid from the Premier League champions for their star defender, who looks like one of the top young talents in the country after a superb season in the Toffees’ back four last term.

It remains to be seen what Chelsea will do next and how much the Blues will be willing to pay for the England international, but it certainly looks like Mourinho’s side could do with more depth in that position, with only Kurt Zouma currently available as a backup option to the first-choice defensive pairing of John Terry and Gary Cahill.

Now 34 years old and heading towards the end of his career, Terry could also do with a long-term replacement at Stamford Bridge, and Stones looks an ideal candidate to come in and fill his boots in the future, but Everton have ambitions of their own and don’t want to simply be a selling club to strengthen the bigger sides.

“We are a big club,” Martinez said. “What we want is to build and what we want to do is concentrate on the future and we are not a selling club by all means. I don’t see anything apart from I love the players I have in the squad and I understand others keep an eye on it and that is a healthy sign.

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“The current situation with John is as you would expect. He is one of the most talented centre backs in European football not just in England and we are really, really feel we have a special footballer with us.

“We have a group of young players with the potential to be as good as they can and I think he is one of those.

“Clearly he is a player that we admire, clearly that is going to be the same in other clubs. They are going to be admiring his ability and what he is as a footballer but he is an Everton player and as you can imagine he is a big part of what we are trying to achieve in the future.”

The Merseysiders have lost big players like Wayne Rooney, Mikel Arteta and Marouane Fellaini to the big sides in recent times, and the departure of Stones would represent another setback to their aims of breaking into the Premier League’s top four.

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