After three rejected bids, £20m, £26m, £30m — none of which should've come as a surprise after Everton already briefed everybody that they would reject them — Chelsea have gone back to drawing board and put the onus on young John Stones to make this transfer happen. It's on the 21-year-old now to become an active participant, and submit an actual transfer request to Everton should he choose to further his career at Chelsea. With the price tag spiraling ever more out of control (now up £40m), this was perhaps our only move, perhaps even our last chance to get him in this transfer window.
While Everton do seem confident of being able to keep him, just like they've managed to hang onto Leighton Baines over the years, at least according to The Sun, Stones has been successfully unsettled enough to be close to "slapping in" a transfer request. Not just handing, slapping one in, probably with a smug face and a Bostonian accent. How 'bout THEM apples?
John Stones is close to slapping in a transfer request at Everton to try to get his dream move. [...] Sources close to the England defender insist he would love to join Jose Mourinho's all-star cast and has grown increasingly frustrated at Everton's insistence he is not for sale. Now the 21-year-old is seriously considering going public in an attempt to force the issue — even though Goodison boss Roberto Martinez is adamant it will not alter the club's stance.
-source: The Sun
Of course, it's The Sun, and it's not even Rob Beasley of The Sun but some other stooge. So make of that what you will. But if you do see this story elsewhere in the media, they're probably just basing it off this one. That may not fill you with a lot of confidence, but if you do want John Stones in Chelsea colors, this is probably the only way it's going to happen.
Everton have recently been linked with another center back signing, Ramiro Funes Mori of River Plate, who could help assuage their loss. Some have gone ever as far as to report that a £5m transfer fee has been agreed, which would be another positive sign towards Stones leaving. But should that never actually materialize, at least we did get a clever headline out of it. Well, not we. They; they did.
Thursday's Sun back page: Game of Stones #tomorrowspaperstoday #bbcpapers pic.twitter.com/dnGo2w6nhr— Nick Sutton (@suttonnick) August 20, 2015