Reports: Everton reject latest £30m Chelsea bid for defender John Stones
Everton have turned down a third bid from Chelsea worth £30m for defender John Stones, report Sky.
The Englishman has been on the radar of the champions for a while now having been subject to two previous bids worth £20m and £25m but the club have insisted that the defender is not for sale.
Speaking last week, manager Roberto Martinez, said, "I have said before the player is not for sale and that is the end of it.
"Our situation has been very clear from the beginning. We are not a selling club who will lose our best performers."
Chelsea – who were pulled apart by Manchester City on Sunday – are on the lookout for a new defender to provide competition for Gary Cahill, John Terry and Kurt Zouma. With Nathan Ake off to Watford on loan, they're left with only the three aforementioned senior centre-backs.
Everton signed John Stones from Barnsley on 31st January 2013 for a fee of £3 million signing a five and a half year deal. The defender has gone on to make 56 appearances for the Toffees and has effectively replaced Sylvain Distin at the heart of the Everton defense alongside compatriot Phil Jagielka.
Stones was also a standby player for the English World Cup 2014 squad given Phil Jones' shoulder injury. He went on to make his debut – in the pre-tournament friendlies – for the Three Lions when they beat Peru 2-0 replacing teammate Leighton Baines for the last 15 minutes. He also featured in the 2-2 draw against Ecuador. With Jones recovering from his injury, Stones was left out of the World Cup squad.
Chelsea manager, Jose Mourinho, controversially substituted captain John Terry with Kurt Zouma at half-time against Manchester City. He insisted that the move was 'tactical' and that he needed more pace from the back.
However, many 'pundits' believe Mourinho substituted the English defender – which is incidently the first time he's ever taken him off – to send a message up the ranks that Chelsea need to make signings to challenge their rivals and retain the title.
Chelsea have so far signed Asmir Begovic who was a like for like replacement for Petr Cech – who joined Arsenal – and they confirmed the signing of Augsburg left-back, Baba Rahman – who replaced the Athletico Madrid-defector Filipe Luis.
Chelsea have linked with a few names over the summer. Brazilian Axel Witsel is one name that seems to be popping up all the time followed by more dynamic midfielder like Kevin de Bruyne and Paul Pogba.