The John Stones transfer saga has been going on far longer than it has any right to, but it's taken a new and amusing turn. If, that is, we believe Sky Sports' sources:
BREAKING: Sky Sources: John Stones hands in transfer request at Everton. #SSNHQ— Sky Sports News HQ (@SkySportsNewsHQ) August 25, 2015
A transfer request doesn't mean a lot in the grand scheme of things -- Everton can still reject any bids Chelsea might come up with -- but it does change the feeling around the deal. We already knew that Chelsea wanted Stones; now, if the above report is true, we know that Stones wants Chelsea. We've gone from the Toffees not wanting to sell one of their own to them actively standing in the way of a young man getting the move he wants. Like it or not, that's an important psychological Rubicon.
Still, I'm not sure that's enough to get the job done. Expect José Mourinho to mention that his club would never keep a player against his own will during his next press conference, and expect Roberto Martinez to cry more or whatever he's doing these days.
Update -- and if you don't believe Sky, here's Oliver Kay of the Times:
John Stones handed in a transfer request at Everton this afternoon. He wants to join Chelsea #EFC #CFC— Oliver Kay (@OliverKayTimes) August 25, 2015