Chelsea have done quite well in recent transfer windows to not only sell high on players who were agitating for a move (Mata, Lukaku, De Bruyne, et al.) but also get value for money when bringing in reinforcements despite being one of the biggest moneybags in the market and thus ripe for an upsell tax (unless said reinforcements were for the right flank — though Pedro might change all that). Unfortunately, our pursuit of John Stones doesn't seem to quite fit that trend.
Our first bid of £20m was perhaps still reasonable for the 21-year-old's services, but the subsequent offers of £26m and £30m, following each Everton rejection, have descended further and further into the real of madness. For a while there, it looked like we were on full tilt with Stones. Rejection? BID! Rejection? BID MORE! Rejection!? BID BID BID.
Still, Chelsea are hardly hurting in the financial department — assuming we're not earmarking any of our normal transfer budget for the stadium expansion — and the realities of the current transfer market, where mid-table Premier League sides are routinely putting up double-digit transfer fees, might just dictate such outrageous, record-breaking deals. And no, we'd not bat an eyelid at breaking the world transfer record for Paul Pogba, so in light of that, perhaps it's not surprising that we're willing to push the bid higher and higher for Stones.
After the third rejection, we finally took a breather. Changing tact for a minute, we let Stones come to us, which he now apparently has by submitting a written transfer request to the Everton board. That of course does not compel them to sell by any means, and they remain adamant that they won't, but at least now we know (and the public knows as well) that the center back is interested in the move. And so...
"Chelsea are expected to submit a new bid of £33million to finally try and sign John Stones after the Everton defender submitted a formal transfer request. Although Everton insist that Stones is not for sale there is a growing expectation that if the Premier League champions were to then increase their offer further to £35million - which they may be prepared to do - they might finally sign the 21-year-old."
It's going to be pretty hilarious when we do eventually sign Stones and the final transfer fee turns out to be £34m, which was rumored at the very start of this saga to be the price at which Everton were willing to do business. For what it's worth, the Guardian claim that we are willing to go as high as £40m, which is also a number we've heard before.