We all know Chelsea are one of the most dogged teams in the Premier League but their determination in the pursuit of John Stones has matched the performances we’ve come to know from Jose Mourinho’s men.
Last Tuesday a third bid of £30 million for the England international was rejected and the Blues are now considering a fourth and final offer of £40 million, according to The Guardian.
This fee would make the 21-year-old the most expensive defender in English football. Yes, we agree, this is crazy money but as everyone knows by now there is a premium put on English talent, particularly young English talent.
This is evidenced by the fact that Chelsea could potentially double their initial bid of £20 million to £40m with a £26m offer being thrown in during this summer’s protracted negotiations also.
Negotiations may be a strong word when one considers how the Toffees have flatly refused the champion’s advances thus far, however.
Roberto Martinez has apparently become annoyed at how publicised Chelsea’s pursuit has been and the two Manchester clubs are also said to be interested parties, although City are now said to be lining up Nicolas Otamendi from Valencia.
Stones could be a fabulous addition to Chelsea’s back-line in the long-term however, and with captain John Terry being subbed off at half-time during the Blues’ 3-0 defeat to Manchester City it is is an early sign perhaps that Terry’s influence is fading as he ages.
Stones represents a new direction and a new focus for Chelsea. He may not have the experience of the London club’s captain but what he lacks in that department, he makes up for in a fantastic attention to detail in his defensive duties along with arguably better technique and passing ability than his England colleague.
Time will tell whether Chelsea are willing to make Stones the most expensive defender in English football but with a leaky defence and a title on the line, Chelsea may just be tempted to bid double what they initially thought the defender was worth.
Rob Lyons, Pundit Arena
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