The Toffees are prepared to hold out for around £40m should Chelsea wish to sign England international Stones before the 1 September deadline, and with John Terry and Gary Cahill experiencing a difficult fortnight in the games against Manchester City and West Brom.
That could force the Londoners to either sanction a hefty fee that almost equals the current price paid for a British player – the £44m City paid for Raheem Sterling earlier this summer – or seek an alternative option.
West Brom 2 Chelsea 3 player ratings
West Brom 2 Chelsea 3 player ratings
1/22 West Brom: Myhill
The goalkeeper conceded three goals, but was let down by his defence. 6
A central defender by trade but playing at right back, he struggled to cope with Hazard’s pace but got involved with West Brom’s attacks when he could. 5
Costa got the better of the Northern Ireland international time and time again, and after the centre-back had lost his battle with the striker, it allowed Costa to set up Azpilicueta for Chelsea’s third. 4
The Sweden international couldn’t deal with the pace of Pedro in the build-up to the winger’s opening goal. 4
The left winger, who has been used at left back under Pulis, came close to equalising with a late shot that went high but he was exploited by Pedro throughout the game. 4
It was his run forwards that allowed Willian to get in behind him and set up Costa for his goal. Was lacking in pace in opener as Willian got past him to make it 2-0. 5
The winger’s pace caused Azpilicueta all sorts of problems and after skipping past the left-back, he was brought down by Matic for the penalty. He also provided the cross for Morrison’s second goal. 7
West Brom’s longest-serving player made up for his missed penalty by scoring twice in what was a positive showing for the midfielder. 8
Worked hard in midfield to combat Fabregas’ influence but failed to fully protect his back line. 5
Was dangerous for West Brom and it was his good work that allowed him to get past Ivanovic and create Morrison’s second goal. 6
Looked sharp on his debut and it was his overhead kick that set up Morrison for his goal. Didn’t get on the scoresheet but was a threat up front for the home side. 7
12/22 Chelsea: Courtois
Remained calm in goal despite the end-to-end nature of the match, saving Morrison's early penalty before making several late saves to ensure the win. 7
Did better on the right flank than against Manchester City last week, but Chelsea’s vice-captain was beaten too easily by McClean for West Brom’s first goal before McManaman got the better of him for the home side’s second. 4
Provided strength in central defence and made some good early tackles. 6
After being the subject of headlines following his substitution against City, the Chelsea skipper let himself down when he saw red for failing to keep up with Rondon before pulling the striker back while he was through on goal. 4
Helped restore Chelsea’s two-goal lead with his strike just before the break, but was beaten too easily by McManaman in the lead-up to West Brom’s penalty as he struggled with his defensive duties. 7
It was the Spaniard’s lofty pass that instigated the move that led to Azpilicueta’s goal, and the midfielder continued providing accurate passes to help build-up Chelsea’s attacks as the game went on. 7
Clumsily brought down McManaman to give away the penalty but was let off the hook when Courtois saved the resulting spot-kick. He didn’t look as strong in midfield as usual, and couldn’t contend with Morrison’s strength for West Brom’s second goal. 5
Made a great run on the counter to set up Chelsea’s second goal and should have scored just before the break but drove high. Another good performance with a high work rate against West Brom. 7
The Belgian looked back to his best against West Brom as he set up Pedro for the opener and used his pace to cause the home side’s defence problems. 7
Chelsea’s man of the match. The winger seemed at ease on his Premier League debut scoring a goal and setting up Diego Costa’s strike. His pace on the right and his superb crosses will prove dangerous for Chelsea this season. 8
His goal was the icing on the cake for the striker, who enjoyed a very good performance up front. Costa looked dangerous throughout and really should have bagged a brace in the second half but drove high with time and space. 8
The Daily Mail reports that the second option is looking likely, with Garay emerging as the leading contender. The Argentina international is already looking for a way out of the Russian club, with Spanish clubs Valencia and Roma both interested.
However, a move for the 28-year-old would come as a bit of a surprise, given that it was Jose Mourinho who elected to sell Garay from Real Madrid in 2011 after deeming him not good enough to remain in his squad.
Having played 31 times for his country, Garay offers far more experience than Stones would, though he would represent a short-term fix with Mourinho’s heart still set on bringing Stones to Stamford Bridge. Chelsea are aware that the 21-year-old would like to discuss a move, but remains unable to unless Everton give him the green light.
Along with Real, Garay has also turned out for Argentinian side Newell’s Old Boys before moving to Spain to join Racing Santander. After three years at Real Madrid – which included one on loan with Racing before completing his move – Mourinho elected to sell Garay to Portuguese side Benfica, before Zenit came calling in 2014 in a €15m move.
Garay was part of the Zenit side that won the 2014/15 Russian Premier League, and has previously attracted attention from Premier League rivals Manchester United.
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