According to the Echo, the 24-year-old would be signed to put pressure on the places of youngster Stones and captain Phil Jagielka, but he could also take the place of the much-coveted 21-year-old should he depart. Both the Red Devils and their Stamford Bridge rivals have been linked with the talented England defender [Daily Mirror], and Argentina international centre-back Funes Mori would be a cost-effective option for Roberto Martinez.
The Catalan coach has insisted that the England international is not for sale, and the Toffees have rejected offers of £20 million and £26 million from Chelsea for the defender [BBC].
“The player is not for sale and that is the end of it,” said Martinez, “Our situation has been very clear from the beginning. We are not a selling club who will lose our best performers.”
However, Jagielka has mentioned that his partner in the heart of the Merseyside outfit’s back line has been affected by the rumours [Liverpool Echo].
“It is not an easy scenario, it is difficult for John,” said the 32-year-old.
“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.”
As such, Everton’s moves in the market could open the door for either of the interested parties to tempt Everton to part with Stones.
The youngster has attracted the Premier League giants after becoming a regular starter for Everton last season, capitalising on the poor form of Sylvain Distin. He has still only played less than a half century of Premier League games in his career, and it has been meteoric rise for the player, who only signed from Barnsley two years ago.