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Manchester United hope to beat Chelsea to defensive target

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We know Chelsea are chasing Everton defender John Stones, and that they'll likely need to pay an inflated transfer fee in order to acquire the defender. That fee might get larger if the Blues really want the player now, though, as The Mirror is reporting that Manchester United is also interested in the 21-year old.

Stones seems to fit the profile of the modern United target, as he's both breathing and physically capable of cashing a paycheck. He may even be a good fit in terms of actual need, as the Manchester side were absolutely awful defensively last season.

That said, this is a Mirror report claiming that United were 'discreet' in their approach, even though it somehow ended up in one of the less reputable papers in England. I'm not sure I'd put much into this, even though I'm sure Stones would be of  interest to most of England's top clubs, especially if Everton are actually willing to part with the player. Despite Roberto Martinez's comments following the bid a week ago, the Blues have developed a pretty good working relationship with Everton over the past several seasons, and I can't imagine the Toffees would go and take a discount to sell the player elsewhere, just to prove a point. If Everton are willing to sell, a big enough Chelsea bid will get the player, United interest or not.