John Stones to Chelsea: Blues ready to return with record £30m-plus bid for Everton defender

Champions could have to break the British transfer record to land 21-year-old England international

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The Independent Football

Premier League champions Chelsea are expected to make a second offer for Everton's highly-rated John Stones that could break the British transfer record for a defender if successful.

The London club have already had one offer in the region of £20m rejected for the 21-year-old, but Jose Mourinho is ready to test Everton’s resolve further with an improved bid in the coming week.

With Manchester City and Manchester United also interested in the England international, the Merseysiders will hope to hold out for a fee that exceeds that previously paid for a defender.

 

It is City who currently hold the British transfer record with the £32m signing of Eliaquim Mangala from Porto last year while United spent £30m to bring Rio Ferdinand to Old Trafford from Leeds in 2002 – the most money spent on an English defender.

However, it is Chelsea who are favourites to sign Stones after Mourinho identified the youngster as the ideal long-term successor to 35-year-old centre-back John Terry. The Chelsea captain has also previously expressed his admiration for the man likely to replace him at the heart of the Blues defence.

After making his first Premier League appearance as a late substitute in an Everton win over Chelsea in 2014, Stones has gone on to play more than 50 times for the Toffees. His assured performances in his first season at Goodison Park caught the eye of Roy Hodgson, and he made his debut for England against Peru in May of last year before being named on standby for the 2014 World Cup squad.

David Moyes made Stones his final purchase as Everton manager when he signed the-then teenager for £3m from his hometown club Barnsley in 2013. He made just 25 appearances at Oakwell before his departure, and it is believed that the South Yorkshire club will command a percentage of any future sale.

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