Chelsea are set to make a third bid worth £30 million ($47 million) for Everton defender John Stones to bring the 21 year old English international to Stamford Bridge.
The Blues have already had two bids worth £20 million and £26 million respectively, rejected for the defender and are confident that their latest bid would be enough to bring him to London. However, Mirror says that Everton would only be willing to do business should they meet their valuation of £34m ($53m) but Chelsea are confident they can get the deal across the line before the end of the transfer window.
Chelsea have earmarked the 21-year-old as a direct replacement for John Terry, who has entered his mid-thirties and is not getting any younger. Stones is an integral part of the Everton first team and would be an important addition for the Blues, who are looking to shore up their defence in a bid to retain their title.
Manchester United are also interested in the player, with the Mirror again reporting that Louis van Gaal has identified the youngster to fill in for his defence after missing out on Sergio Ramos from Real Madrid. However, the Red Devils are yet to make a concrete bid and recent reports suggest that Jose Mourinho’s side are the favourites for his signature.
Roberto Martinez has already had an altercation with the Blues manager for his public pursuit of the defender, but Mourinho has urged the former Wigan man to reject any bid made for the player if they are unwilling to sell.
Everton have to look for an established centre-half before allowing Stones to leave, with Leighton Baines also out with a long-term injury following a knock on his ankle in training last week.
The report states that Martinez wants to add a central defender, a creative number 10 and a striker before the end of the transfer window and the massive fees being quoted for Stones would go a long way in addressing those requirements.
Everton have offered former Bayern player Shaqiri a season-long loan deal, with their manager operating on a limited transfer budget despite his club spending less than any other Premier League side this summer. Shaqiri and Inter, however, may prefer a permanent deal after his transfer from Bayern Munich in January failed to produce the first team starts expected.
That has enabled Stoke to revive their interest in the 23-year-old, who failed to meet their deadline for an answer over a proposed £12m move from the San Siro last month. He attended Stoke’s 1-0 defeat by Liverpool at the Britannia Stadium on Sunday and Mark Hughes is hopeful of concluding a deal at the second attempt.
The Stoke manager said: “We are hopeful. We have had a pre-season of chasing really quality targets. We are hopeful we can do something but until we see players standing at the training ground with the shirt in their arms, we will have to see. It would be a permanent deal.”