Chelsea look as though they will continue to be frustrated in their pursuit of Everton defender John Stones, with reports suggesting the Merseyside club will reject a third bid for their player.
That’s according to Kevin Palmer of ESPN FC, who cites “sources” who have revealed the Toffees will turn away a bid of £30 million. As noted by Palmer, Everton manager Roberto Martinez again reiterated that he sees Stones as part of the club’s long-term future on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football.
“Players like Stones and Ross Barkley have an incredible future and will attract interest from the outside,” said the ex-Wigan Athletic boss. “As a football club these players are going to be a part of our success in the future, so we take [interest] as a positive compliment.”
On the same show, former Liverpool and England defender Jamie Carragher said the best place for Stones to develop is with his former rivals, per Neil Jones of the Liverpool Echo:
For John Stones, some of the nonsense that has been spoken this weekend and before about where is best for him. Where he is best is where he is now.
I can speak as a centre back. It is very difficult as a young centre back to play for a team that is right at the pinnacle of the league. The next two or three years, the best place for him is alongside you (Martinez) at Goodison Park, getting up to 50 games a season, getting experience under his belt.
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
The continued resistance is far from ideal for Chelsea, who are still to make a major outfield signing this summer. Manager Jose Mourinho is a huge admirer of Stones to go back in with a third bid, and with the Toffees’ stance on the matter clear, perhaps the wily Portuguese is hoping the player pushes for a move as the deadline creeps closer.
But Everton are in a position where they can’t afford to sell. Stones is one of only two senior central defenders in Martinez’s squad, and if the Toffees were to cash in, they would have minimal time to draft in replacements. With a healthy sum coming into the coffers, they’d also have to pay well over the odds for players at this late stage.
Chelsea will be keen on getting a deal done this window, as Stones’ value is likely to rise as he continues developing. But for now, their time may be better spent chasing other targets with the potential to improve their team.
Abdul Baba Rahman to Sign On
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In more positive transfer news for Chelsea, it looks to be a matter of time before they conclude a deal to bring Augsburg left-back Abdul Baba Rahman to the club.
That’s according to Simon Jones and Oliver Todd of the Daily Mail, who report that the Blues could pay up to £21.7 million for the 21-year-old. They will shell out an initial £14 million for the player. Here’s a look at how he fared in the Bundesliga last season, per WhoScored.com:
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) July 23, 2015
Having sold Filipe Luis back to Atletico Madrid, Mourinho was in desperate need of a left-back option, and it’s easy to see why Rahman has been identified by the Portuguese. The Augsburg star is capable going forward, but as is evident by the aforementioned statistics, he excels defensively.
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images
The youngster will also add some competition to the Chelsea squad in an area that is a little short on numbers. As noted by Ed Aarons of the Guardian, some members of the Blues defence looked a little complacent in their opening-day draw with Swansea City:
Judging by the way Montero is rinsing Ivanovic today, Chelsea need to stump up the cash for Rahman and move Azpilicueta to right back
— Ed Aarons (@ed_aarons) August 8, 2015
While Cesar Azpilicueta has done a tremendous job at left-back, Rahman is more a natural fit. Being left-footed, he will add a critical balance to the defence and to the Blues’ forward forays while bringing some youthful dynamism to what is an otherwise experienced back four.
Rahman has the talent to be a major success in the Premier League and will relish working alongside Mourinho and skipper John Terry. The Chelsea boss will be hoping his arrival jolts the defence into life ahead of the upcoming visit to Manchester City and that sloppy showings at the back like the one against Swansea remain scarce throughout the season.
– Bleacher Report
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