Chelsea have reportedly decided to make an increased offer for Everton defender John Stones, according to the Daily Star.
The Star report that the Premier League champions had their initial bid of £20m rejected by the Toffees, but they are hoping they may have more luck after improving their offer by £5m.
However, Roberto Martinez is adamant that he does not wish to sell one of his star men. And the Star report that the way Jose Mourinho has approached the attempts to land their target has led to a fall out between the two managers.
“Another football club is making such a statement in the press so openly. I don’t think that is they way we would do it at Everton,” he explained.
The amount that Chelsea are reportedly willing to offer provides an indication of how highly the former Barnsley trainee is thought of in the game currently. He made 21 top flight appearances during the last campaign, and now has a handful of England caps. And with John Terry approaching the final years of his career – although he’s given no indication of slowing down – Stones seems like the ideal replacement.
However, the Merseyside club will be desperate to hold onto the 21-year-old. Not only was he one of the brightest points of last season, but Martinez will also be aware of a lack of options.
Following the departures of both Antolin Alcaraz and Sylvain Distin, Everton have just two central defenders, with Phil Jaglieka likely to begin the new season as Stones’ partner, should the youngster remain at Goodison Park.
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