Jose Mourinho has continued his war of words with Everton and warned them he will not be held to ransom over defender John Stones.
The Chelsea manager is increasingly frustrated by Everton’s attitude to their attempts to sign the 21-year-old, who is believed to want a move to Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea had a £20m bid rejected last week, but are on the verge of lodging a second worth around £26m.
The Everton manager, Roberto Martinez, has criticised Chelsea publicly, accusing them of leaking the bid and trying to unsettle Stones.
Everton also claimed they sent a letter to Chelsea last week insisting he was not for sale, but Chelsea say there was no such statement made.
Mourinho’s patience appears to have run out and, loaded with sarcasm, he said: “Our strategy for the Premier League is going to change next year. Next year we are going to make the first bid on the first of September. On the first of September we will do a bid for the season later. Because at this moment, until 31 August, it is closed. The market is closed. We are all in a strange world.”
Mourinho wants Stones as a long-term replacement for captain John Terry, who turns 35 in December. There is a feeling that Everton’s tough stance is merely a ploy to get Chelsea to pay more for the England international.
Chelsea have signed only Radamel Falcao on loan from Monaco and Asmir Begovic from Stoke for £8m so far.Reuse content