Chelsea linked to Everton defender

Shaun Botterill

Everton have become an increasingly likeable club for Chelsea fans -- as long as we ignore the reverses they tend to hand us at Goodison Park. Roberto Martinez is a good guy, they're helping us out by developing Romelu Lukaku, and they have an interesting, eye-catching array of young talent. We've mostly been linked to midfielder Ross Barkley, for obvious reasons, but now a new name is entering the picture: John Stones.

If you haven't been watching the Toffees, Stones is a 19-year-old centre back who's been filling in for the injured Phil Jagielka recently. He's obviously exceptionally talented, although his erratic play is a good reminder that he's still a teenager. Should Chelsea be interested? Absolutely* -- he's already shown he's good enough to be taken seriously as a Premier League defender, and at his age that's a very impressive achievement.

*Even bearing in mind that we're already stacked at centre back, more bodies never hurts.

But the link to the Blues is tenuous at best. The Mail aren't a reliable source, and with Stones under contract through the 2017/18 season, Everton have all the leverage here. Should they make the Champions League, they'll have the financial resources to keep their stars around too.

My guess is that the player's agent is leaking stories in the hopes of cashing in should the Toffees manage to get the cash that comes with fourth place. There's obviously no way this comes from Everton and while other clubs might be interested, it's tricky to see why leaking this to the press would benefit anyone other than Stones. My verdict, then is that this is something to keep an eye on, but no more than that.

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