Everton furious as Cahill comments fuel Stones fire
Published 23/07/2015 | 02:30
Chelsea's bitter row with Everton intensified last night after Gary Cahill claimed John Stones will find it "hard to turn down" a move to Stamford Bridge.
Everton manager Roberto Martinez and his club are growing increasingly frustrated with what they view as a concerted media campaign to unsettle Stones, who is Chelsea's leading transfer target this summer.
Cahill has inflamed an already volatile situation even further by admitting the Everton defender will be swayed by the lure of winning silverware with the Premier League champions.
Everton are understood to be furious with the comments made by the England international and could even consider an official complaint to the league.
Chelsea have already seen one bid rejected by Everton, drawing a fierce response from Martinez, but a second offer is imminent and Mourinho is determined to land Stones this month.
Cahill has backed Mourinho's pursuit for the 21-year-old and believes Stones' career will progress significantly for both club and country if he moves to Stamford Bridge.
Since leaving Bolton Wanderers for £7m in 2012, Cahill has lifted the Champions League, Premier League, the FA Cup and League Cup and the Europa League.
Stones' hopes of challenging for any of those honours at Everton are highly unlikely and it is believed the centre-half is open to the prospect of joining the champions.
Cahill said: "When a top club comes calling, who you know will be firing on all fronts with competitions and medals, that's ultimately what you want to be playing for. It's hard to turn down of course.
"In terms of ambition, if you're a young player in the game, have played in the Premier League like he did a lot last year, and a big club come calling, it's very difficult to turn down because you want to achieve the most you can in the short period you have in your career as a professional footballer.
"He will look at the club, look at the players, and look at being involved in a squad like ours.
"When Chelsea came calling for me, it was an opportunity and looking from the outset you may not be sure how it's going to go. But it's one you can't turn down, you have to grab it with both hands. Then you have to work as hard as you can to make it work.
"Potentially as a player he can be a top player, not just for us but also for England."
Chelsea's second bid of around £26m is expected later this week, though Mourinho has suggested he is willing to smash the transfer record for an English defender to complete a deal.
While their pursuit of Stones is ongoing, Chelsea are also making progress to sign Abdul Rahman Baba as a replacement for Filipe Luis.
Radamel Falcao, Chelsea's first summer signing, has now joined up with the squad at their Montreal base and Cahill insists the Colombian is hungry to prove a point.
Despite Falcao's struggles under Louis van Gaal, the memories of his devastating performance against Chelsea in the 2012 Super Cup, when he scored a hat-trick in Atletico Madrid's 4-1 victory, are still vivid for Cahill.
"Of course from his time at Man Utd, it didn't go as well as he hoped. His experience there was obviously a bad one, so obviously everyone is going to be speaking about that," he said. (© Daily Telegraph, London)