Saturday 22 October 2016

Kenwright: Stones is the best

Published 22/07/2015 | 13:52

John Stones is England's best centre-back, according to chairman Bill Kenwright
John Stones is England's best centre-back, according to chairman Bill Kenwright

Everton chairman Bill Kenwright believes John Stones is England's best central defender and the club have a great squad.

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Chelsea have already had one £20million bid rejected for the 21-year-old but reports suggest Jose Mourinho will not be deterred and is lining up an improved offer in excess of £30million.

Everton have been resolute in their stance over the youngster, who became first-choice in central defence alongside captain and international team-mate Phil Jagielka in the second half of last season, and will continue that role into the new campaign.

"We've worked really hard to stabilise this club and we've got a great squad, a young squad... (Romelu) Lukaku and John Stones, who has to be the best centre back in England," Kenwright told the Newcastle Chronicle.

While Stones remains happy at Everton, the club are likely to find themselves coming under more pressure from Chelsea if they offer a British record fee for a defender.

Goalkeeper Tim Howard, meanwhile, is readying himself for a return to international football after a sabbatical following the 2014 World Cup.

"I spoke to coach Klinsmann and we have had open lines of communication as recently as last week. We spoke but obviously they are very busy with the Gold Cup at the moment," he told evertontv.

"We will speak again after that tournament finishes and I will make myself available for selection. We will see where we go from there.

"I have missed it. It was a tough decision to make. It has been a good break, but all it has done is really fuelled my fire. I have missed the boys, the competition and playing in front of the US fans."

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