John Stones to Chelsea: Jose Mourinho - We will keep trying to sign Everton defender

Blues ready to return with a £26m offer for England defender Stones

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The Independent Football

Jose Mourinho has confirmed that Chelsea will make another bid for the Everton defender John Stones. Having had an offer of £20m rejected, they are expected to go back in this week with £26m.

Everton have claimed they want to keep the 21-year-old but Chelsea are  refusing to give up and are confident they can lure the England international to Stamford Bridge before the start of the season. Mourinho said: “We made a bid, we can make it – it’s an open market until 1 September. At the moment they say we don’t accept this bid – they don’t say: ‘We don’t accept bids; any bids’.

“While they say we don’t accept this bid, until 1 September we can improve the bid, one pound more, 10 pounds more we can improve the bid. If one day [Everton manager] Roberto Martinez or the chairman come and say he’s not for sale, we don’t accept any bid, it’s game over.  So during this process, it’s clear, we don’t deny we made a bid for Stones. We are trying to buy.”

 

However, Martinez is upset at Mourniho’s tactics, saying on Saturday: “The disappointment is that another football club [Chelsea] is making statements to the press about another player so openly. I don’t think that is the way we would do it at Everton. From our point of view John Stones is an Everton player full stop.”

But by chasing Stones, who joined Everton from Barnsley for £3m in 2013, Mourinho is planning for life without John Terry. While making it clear he doesn’t expect next season to be Terry’s last in a Chelsea shirt, Mourinho accepts that at 35 in December, he will not go on forever, even though he enjoyed one of his best seasons last term. Mourinho added: “We have three [central defenders]. We have two who are more than 30 years old [Terry and Cahill, who turns 30 in  December]. We’d like to have two who are less than 25 [Zouma is 20], which would give us the next 10 years.

“I think 10 or five years ago every Chelsea supporter would say, ‘I can’t see Chelsea winning a title without Frank Lampard’, but we did. No one is irreplaceable. Difficult to replace? Yes. One day when he [Terry] stops we have created already a situation for John to be replaced.”

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