The Blues are refusing to get into a bidding war for Stones
Chelsea have ended their interest in Everton defender John Stones, with the Toffees understood to be holding out for over £50 million, with Manchester City and Manchester United also interested.
It has been a frustrating transfer saga for the Blues, having seen a bid of £37 million rejected by Everton last summer, and had been believed to have been preparing a bid of £40 million this upcoming transfer window.
Stones was tipped to be the long-term replacement for John Terry, who is set to leave Stamford Bridge this summer, after 18 years of service. However, with City and United showing interest, it is thought Stones’ valuation could go beyond what the Blues are willing to pay.
After four attempts to bring the 21-year-old to Stamford Bridge last summer, they will turn their attention to the likes of AS Roma’s Kosta Manolas – unless Everton are prepared to accept £40 million for the defender they brought in from Barnsley.
New Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is keen for Stones to join him in west London, but isn’t prepared to pay such a fee for a young player, when he has his own list of targets ready for the club to bring in.
Barcelona are also understood to be interested in taking Stones to the Camp Nou, although it looks more likely that, if the player is to leave, he will go to another Premier League club, at the moment.
An underwhelming season for the Toffees is most likely to see Romelu Lukaku leave the club, in search of Champions League football, so will be under no pressure to sell for big money, with Belgium likely to prove a profitable sale for the club.
Also billionaire Farhad Moshiri’s majority stake takeover at the club is not forcing Everton into any desperate need to sell.