John Stones to Chelsea: Everton defender 'considering transfer request' to try and force through Premier League move

Stones is wanted by Chelsea to strengthen their defence, but Everton have insisted he is not for sale and will not sell for less than £40m

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John Stones is believed to be considering handing in a transfer request to try and force a move away from Everton, with Chelsea currently weighing up a final offer for the England defender.

21-year-old Stones has emerged as one of the brightest young talents in the English game, with Everton manager Roberto Martinez already proclaiming that he will go on to captain the club in the near future.

However, the Toffees may have their resolve tested to the limit, having already rejected three bids from the Blues and declared that he is not for sale. Chelsea are believed to be weighing up a £40m offer to meet Everton’s valuation, and The Sun has reported that Stones is now considering a transfer request to try and force through the move.

 

The dilemma for Stones is whether a move to Chelsea would see him secure as much first-team football as he is currently seeing at Goodison Park. With both John Terry and Gary Cahill at the club and a more than adequate back-up in Kurt Zouma, Stones could face the possibility of becoming a fringe player whereas he is regarded as a crucial figure in Martinez’s first team.

One glimmer of hope was the removal of Terry at half-time during Chelsea’s embarrassing 3-0 defeat to rivals Manchester City at the weekend, prompting suggestions that the former England captain may be on the decline despite playing every minute of the Blues’ successful Premier League campaign last season.

Zouma would be the obvious choice to replace Terry, with Mourinho already admitting that his extra pace was needed last Sunday, but Stones could equally come in to the side and is being seen as the long-term replacement to the Chelsea skipper.

Stones’ Everton team-mate, Steven Naismith, has urged the youngster to stay at the club though, and he has stressed the importance of playing regular football as well as looking at long-term goals rather than simply joining a title-challenging side.

“Have a long think about it - the grass isn’t always greener,” said Naismith. “At this stage, it’s hard for players to see this exact moment in their career. You can be blinded.

“I know, when I was injured and coming back, not playing football was the hardest thing and I would have dropped down two divisions just to play.

 

The Independent understands that Chelsea remain extremely confident of making one more major signing this summer though, with eyes not only on Stones but also Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba. While Pogba is a far more audacious option, he would add undoubted quality to the side and reinforce a midfield that was overpowered by City’s last Sunday.

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