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Everton sign John Stones, seeing off supposed interest from Chelsea

Paul Thomas

This is sort of ancillary Chelsea news because the club's supposed interest in John Stones never got much above the general background howling of the transfer window, but since there were a few stories about the Everton defender earlier in the summer, we might as well wrap it all up now.

John Stones, of course, is a young English defender who, by virtue of being young, English, and at least mildly competent-looking with room to grow, was linked to a slew of top teams this summer, including Chelsea. That we possessed two fully-grown, vastly more capable English defenders (as well as three younger, admittedly non-English prospects)  was apparently neither here nor there. John Stones* was a popular man, and Everton would need to act to stop him bolting to Chelsea, or to Manchester City, or to Tottenham Hostpur.

*I don't know why I'm calling him by his full name but I can't seem to stop.

And so they have. The Toffees announced on Thursday morning that John Stones* has signed a new five-year contract which will keep the 20-year-old at Goodison Park until the end of the 2018/19 season or whenever he next wants a big raise. And good for Everton. I mean, they've spent a tonne of money keeping their team identical to the one that finished fifth last season, but obviously you have to do what you have to do to make that big breakthrough.

*Please send help.

As for what this means for Chelsea, we're not getting John Stones, whom some people seemed to think we were targetting earlier this summer. My guess is that the whole thing was a malodourous concoction dreamed up by John Stones' agent in order to help secure this new deal -- we're a useful bogeyman in such endeavours -- and I am happy to say that we can now ignore him until at least January 2016, at which point they'll repeat the trick again.

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