Arsenal are ready to enter the race to sign Chelsea and Manchester United target John Stones.

The 21-year-old central defender from Everton has been heavily linked with both Chelsea and Manchester United. Last summer the Blues placed three bids but Everton were not interested to sell even when the offers went up to £38 million.

Manchester United also watched the Englishman very closely this season and were rumoured to be placing a bid of around £35million but Everton are not willing to let go their promising centre back cheaply. Reports say they tagged the price for Stones in excess of £45million.

However, Stones’s sensational rise as one of the most promising centre-backs in England grabs the attention of Arsenal as Arsene Wenger wants to buy the youngster for the long-term. The fee for Stones reportedly will be in excess of £30million but Arsenal boss is somehow interested to spend for the Englishman.

Despite his reputation, Wenger spent a staggering £42m for German maestro Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid and also £35m to rope in Alexis Sanchez from Barcelona.

Although Everton boss Roberto Martinez has repeatedly said that any new bids for Stones will not be welcomed in January. He is planning to build on the momentum which has put Everton into a perfect position from where they can now challenge for a European berth.

Also, Everton have reached the quarter-finals of Capital One Cup, they welcome Middlesbrough on Tuesday.

In 2013, John Stones joined Everton leaving Barnsley for a bargain £3m and after 2 years he has now become an automatic first choice at Goodison Park.

The promising central defender has also played seven matches for England and seems to be a confirmed member of the squad which England manager Roy Hodgson chooses for the European Championship finals in France next year.

Wenger has been looking for younger options to strengthen the central defensive positions. The Frenchman’s current first choices are 31-year-old Per Mertesacker and 30-year-old Laurent Koscielny, so age a factor obviously.

In January, he spent £11.3 million to sign Brazilian centre-back Gabriel Paulista from Villarreal and has another option – Calum Chambers who he brought from Southampton.

However, Gabriel still needs time to adapt the English game while Chambers likely to be used in midfield, not in central defence.