If Roberto Martinez doesn't want Chelsea to loom like so many harpies around the poor, tragic figure of John Stones. Trying to buy other team's players is very rude, after all. But according to Jose Mourinho, there's one way to make this go away: telling the Blues that Stones isn't for sale will lead to us backing off:
We made a bid, we can make it - it's an open market until September 1. At the moment they say we don’t accept this bid – they don’t say: ‘We don’t accept bids; any bids'. While they say we don’t accept this bid, until September 1 we can improve the bid, one pound more, ten pounds more we can improve the bid.
If one day Roberto Martinez or the chairman come and say he’s not for sale, we don’t accept any bid, it's game over. So during this process, it’s clear, we don’t deny we made a bid for Stones. It means we are trying to buy.
Mourinho is of course being slightly cheeky here since Martinez was complaining about Chelsea trying to turn Stones' head, and saying "we are trying to buy" only confirms that the news of a bid will gain further traction. But as he says, all Everton have to do is turn us down firmly and we'll go away. Not that I'd expect the Toffees to be completely disinterested in a ~£26 million bid* -- that is after all rather a lot of money, and I might go so far as to suggest that Martinez is merely being a grouch.
*£26 million isn't as bad as it first seems**, since Stones' wages would be on the low end of Chelsea's pay scale.
**Ok, it's still a lot.
Anyway, we're definitely interested in picking up the 21-year-old. While Stones isn't a finished product yet, it's fun to imagine what might end up with him and Kurt Zouma should this transfer come to fruition. Chelsea are looking ahead to the day when John Terry is no longer on the pitch, and acquiring one of the Premier League's brightest centre back prospects isn't a bad way to prepare ourselves.