Well, someone's been a naughty boy and hasn't exactly been telling the complete and honest truth. Jose Mourinho, often the villain of the piece, is probably the bookies' favorite. But nice guy Roberto Martinez could be a sneaky, smart money option perhaps. It might be a while before we know for sure.
The point of contention seem to be just how strongly Everton warned Chelsea off of John Stones. When Chelsea's bid was made public on Friday, Martinez reacted rather angrily, surprising many. Though as I recall he was also not a happy camper when Marouane Fellaini decided to transfer to Manchester United. In any case, here's what the Everton manager's claiming.
"There is the disappointment of a club making a statement to the press and making it openly. I don't think we'd do it and speak about a player. John Stones is an Everton player, full stop."
-Roberto Martinez; source: Telegraph
Martinez claims that the club made it clear to Chelsea that Stones is not for sale (in writing, even!), that they have no intention of selling. Whether they included wording such as "at any price" is unclear, but Everton's view is that their denial was categorical. Which could explain Martinez's anger when Chelsea went public not only with the initial bid but our plans to raise that bid.
Things then took an awkward turn.
"I would advise Roberto to do the same thing as I do. If I get an offer for one of my players and I don't want to accept any offer I say I don't accept any offer, so he can make it very, very easy."
"If today I receive a bid for [Cesc] Fabregas in two minutes I will say I don't accept any bid, game over, that's it. If we made a bid it is because we like the player, we don't make bids for players we don't like, but we respect Everton and respect every club that has a player and it is up to them - everything is in their hands."
-Jose Mourinho; source: Telegraph
So, Jose's advising Martinez to do the exact thing Martinez claims they've done already, even before Chelsea made the bid public! Whoops.
A classic case of he said, he said then? Or are we just picking up tips from all the drama that's going on with Mohamed Salah and others in the Serie A? One thing's for sure, Mourinho's and Martinez's accounts are conflicting and John Stones may not know much about which step he should take next in his career.
We could help him figure it out of course (every player has his price, even probably the off limit ones), but only at the risk of further upsetting Everton and probably paying way over the odds for the 21-year-old.