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Chelsea target John Stones set for new contract... with an escape clause

Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

John Stones signed a new five-year deal at Everton just last summer, which pays him a reported £30,000 per week.  If you're Everton, that's a decent amount of money.  If you're Chelsea, well, that's a pittance.  No wonder John Stones' head would get turned, even without encouraging words from Gary Cahill or John Terry.

Perhaps in an effort to make up for rejecting his transfer request, Everton are set to improve Stones' salary with another contract extension.  But it's not all good news for Roberto Martinez as, at Stones' insistence, the improved salary packet will apparently have to come with an escape clause, a buyout just waiting to be exercised by the Evil Empires of Chelsea, Manchester United, or, as David Moyes once claimed, Real Madrid.

The Mail and the Mirror published their reports about this within a minute of each other, though somehow still managed to report slightly different buyout amounts.  The former says it's £38m, the latter, that it's £37m, both claiming to be essentially our final, rejected, fourth offer for the defender this summer.  Close enough for tabloid work, I suppose.

Presumably, since we were willing to go that high this summer already, we will have no issues repeating that bid next summer as well.  At least I'm guessing that Everton would make sure the clause would only be active next summer and not in January already.  But who knows.  Stones of course may still not actually be worth that much, in all honesty, but Everton's probably doing us (or whoever ends up buying him) a favor by not upping the price despite all the new money coming into the league.  And should they not agree on a new deal with a buyout, then we get to look forward to yet another saga or two.

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