Everton have moved ahead of Manchester United and Arsenal in the race to sign Inter Milan captain Andrea Ranocchia, but will only complete a move for the Italian if John Stones completes his switch to Chelsea, the Daily
The Blues are planning to make a bid in the region of £40m for the 21-year-old (via Express), which would make him the most expensive defender in British football history (via Daily Mirror), but also leave Roberto Martinez with just one natural centre-back.
However, the Toffees boss is prepared for that outcome, having earmarked the 27-year-old as his first choice should a potential replacement be required.
The Express claim however, that Ranocchia will not be available in a cut-price deal as his contract at San Siro does not expire until 2019.
While Stones is much younger and has settled into Martinez’s style at Goodison Park, the Italy international would certainly be a quality replacement. He has shown the leadership skills in his home country that would suggest that he would be able to galvanise a team that will inevitably be down about losing one of their brightest stars.