John Stones: £40m Chelsea target ‘accidentally’ handed in transfer request, Everton boss Roberto Martinez bizarrely claims

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Roberto Martinez, the Everton manager, has bizarrely claimed that John Stones accidentally handed in a transfer request amid intense speculation that Chelsea were readying a fourth £40m offer.

Chelsea have thus far made three bids for the England international’s signature, which appeared to have swayed the youngster’s mind away from Goodison Park when reports emerged that he had told the Toffees of his desire to move to Stamford Bridge last Tuesday.

It therefore came as a surprise when Martinez started Stones in their Capital One Cup trip to Barnsley just 24 hours later, and similarly in Saturday’s goalless draw against Tottenham Hotspur.

And Martinez has praised the attitude of the 21-year-old, but may have left a few supporters stunned by his suggestion that the transfer request was accidental:

“He’s such a professional,” the Everton boss said. “I had other situations where I had players who couldn’t cope and couldn’t play,” as quoted by Sky Sports.

“I had windows where I had to leave players out completely and when the window closed get him back in the team and what that represents – winning his team-mates over and the fans over.

“With John, it’s very easy because he’s a pristine professional. Obviously he’s been put under massive, massive pressure. The transfer request was something he didn’t mean to do.”

If you say so, Martinez.

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