Amidst the Paul Pogba-mania wave today, we kind of lost track on another player that has been on Chelsea's radar: Everton's John Stones. Yesterday, the Sun reported that Stones would submit a transfer request to Everton after growing frustration with the club's management refusal to sell him. But according to Everton manager Roberto Martínez, it didn't happen.
"I'm not aware of any transfer request. [...] John will be in the match day squad [against Manchester City]."
"There is not a situation [about John Stones]. [...] The discussion is wrong, we should be talking about Sunday. [...] Instead, you are asking me about certain individuals. That is so wrong."
-Roberto Martínez; source: Liverpool Echo
Martínez's frustration is visible, but maybe he shouldn't worry about Stones handling a transfer request as the Liverpool Echo reported after his press conference that the player won't resort to this recourse.
Today, we also had someone who experienced both sides -- Belgian forward Romelu Lukaku -- chiming in regards to a potential John Stones transfer.
"John is in a good situation at a good club which believes in him."
"He's been here two years but now this is the year where he really needs to confirm he is the top player he can be. [...] He needs to keep on doing what he's doing. He has the Euros coming up, so why go?"
Lukaku also offered a bit of insight on his experience for Chelsea, trying to justify why he left the club.
"When you go to Chelsea at a young age it's up to you if you want to survive. Do you really want to fight for your place? You get maybe one or two chances, and if you take them you will continue getting them. [...] It's really up to you as a player."
"I made a decision to leave because in my mind, I thought: I am 21. What's going to happen now? I could easily have stayed at Chelsea to fight for my place. But you never know. I didn't know what the manager's ideas were with me. I didn't know what the club's plan was with me at the time."
"Here [in Everton], the plan was clear. Bring young players over, grow them into top players and win titles. I was seeing myself as part of that, so that's why I signed here on a permanent deal."
-Romelu Lukaku; Source: Telegraph
Meanwhile, at the transfer market, Everton seem to have locked the transfer of 24-year-old centre-back Ramiro Funes Mori to Goodison Park. The Argentinian was fundamental in River Plate's Copa Libertadores title run, scoring a goal in the competition finals. Yesterday, Funes Mori said farewell to his former club before travelling to England as Roberto Martínez said his club could announce a new signing soon.
Chelsea steps up their moves in the transfer market; involved parties look for replacements: it all makes sense. Too much sense...