Much to Roberto Martinez's chagrin, the John Stones transfer saga has been playing out right in public, on the back pages, and everywhere on the Internet, pretty much since day one. He and Everton have of course blamed Chelsea for this unsightly mess, but they've done absolutely nothing to curtail all the publicity either, continuing to talk about their bruised feelings and the unfairness of the transfer window (on Sky Sports during Monday Night Football no less!) and whatever else people talk about when they have the supposed moral high-ground.
Beyond the actual quotes, the media have been kept well apprised of any and all movement, from both sides and, presumably, the agent as well. This is how we knew — using a very loose definition of "to know" in this case of course — that it would take well over £30m to possibly get the 21-year-old from the very beginning. This is how we knew that £20m was never going to do it, that £25-26m would get rejected even before we submitted the bid, and that £30m, our latest supposed bid, will be rejected as well.
Sources have told ESPN FC that before a new £30m bid for the Everton centre-back has even been lodged by Chelsea, the Goodison Park brass is ready to reject such an offer.
While some sources are claiming that Everton will eventually accept an offer, all signs point to that offer having to be rather astronomical. Plus, Everton would probably want to secure some sort of a replacement as well — they've been tentatively linked with the likes of Jonny Evans, Virgil van Dijk, and Cristián Zapata.
Either way, the Stones saga might just go the full distance during this transfer window. That's hardly ideal for Chelsea, but hey, at least we'll have something to talk about on September