Quality English prospects are a rare commodity in the market and as expected, they will drive premium prices and interest. One can wonder whether former Liverpool and now Manchester City player Raheem Sterling would draw the same kind of interest and price tag if he was a Spaniard or a Colombian -- and the same can be said of Everton's John Stones. A promising English prospect, John Stones has been linked to a Chelsea move since April 2014, in a time when Roberto Martínez and Everton were still likeable. Much has changed since then, with Everton rejecting two bids from Chelsea for Stones -- and a third one on its way to the same fate. And now, it looks like Manchester United want to swoop in.
Manchester United's interest in John Stones isn't exactly new, but them planning to move now makes perfect sense. With Everton and Chelsea's relationship deteriorating and Roberto Martínez's public outbursts against John Terry and José Mourinho's conduct regarding their posture whenever asked about John Stones, United probably saw a window of opportunity not only to get a quality player in their books but also to disrupt a potential Chelsea transfer.
Former Manchester United centre-back Rio Ferdinand also came to the public in the beginning of the month, pitching Stones to a move to Old Trafford.
"If [John Stones] goes to Manchester United, he plays every week so that's the right club for him. If he goes to Chelsea, he's not playing every week. He's at that stage of his development where he wants to play every week. If you say to any young footballer to leave a club to sit on the bench, you've got to be a lunatic."
Rio Ferdinand; source: The Guardian
Funnily enough, Rio Ferdinand didn't draw Roberto Martínez's ire -- although Ferdinand is no longer directly related to Manchester United, but was way more direct with his words than José Mourinho and John Terry.
It remains to be seen whether this "interest" will lead to a concrete bid from Manchester United. If it does, expect the stakes to be raised much higher -- and for record-breaking transfer values as well.