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Chelsea undeterred in John Stones pursuit, will set transfer record with next bid

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With all the bad blood between Everton and Chelsea over this issue -- even if it was a sneaky agent who maybe leaked the initial bid, and not Chelsea -- it's hardly surprising that John Stones' price tag keeps rising.  Everton rejected the £20m first bid and are expected to reject our second bid of £26m as well.  But no worries, we'll just keep hitting that up arrow.

Chelsea remain confident of signing John Stones from Everton, but may need to pay as much as £34million to land the central defender. Despite the fact a second bid of around £26m is expected to be rejected with Everton publically insistent Stones is not for sale, Chelsea will not be put off.

Mourinho [...] is prepared to recommend that Chelsea eventually structure a deal that could be worth up to £34m in order to secure the signing of Stones.

-source: Telegraph

In absolute terms, this would represent not only a new record fee paid for an English defender (beating Rio Ferdinand's £29m move from Leeds United to Manchester United in 2002), but a new British transfer record for any defender (beating Eliaquim Mangala's £32m move to Manchester City last summer).  Of course, in relative terms (even before considering inflation), neither of the two recent deals come close to Ferdinand's move, but relativity is hard and absolute numbers are easy.

While the Telegraph are claiming £34m, others, like The Guardian are keeping it closer to £30m.  One thing seems certain though, if we want the 21-year-old center back, we're going to have to pay a fee normally reserved for some of the best attacking players in the world.  (And weekly wages possibly rising into the six figures.)