Everton turn down new bid for Stones
Published 30/07/2015 | 02:30
Everton have snubbed Chelsea's £26m bid for John Stones, with the Premier League champions now expected to return for a third time in a bid to sign the defender.
The fresh offer was immediately rejected yesterday, but Chelsea remain confident of landing Stones before the summer transfer window shuts.
It is understood that, despite Everton's insistence that the England international is not for sale, Chelsea will have to pay around £34m to capture him.
In addition to rejecting Chelsea's second bid for Stones, Everton are determined not to sell midfielder James McCarthy to Tottenham.
McCarthy still has three years remaining on his contract and enjoys a close relationship with manager Roberto Martinez, who made it his priority to bring the Republic of Ireland international with him when he moved from Wigan two years ago.
Martinez, meanwhile, has played down injury concerns over Romelu Lukaku after the striker came off early in their latest pre-season friendly.
The Belgium international managed 32 minutes in the 2-0 win over Dundee before coming off appearing to hold his hamstring.
However, Martinez insists the 22-year-old's withdrawal was just precautionary.
Elsewhere, Arsenal midfielder Mathieu Flamini has suggested that Jose Mourinho acted out of character this summer by accepting the "good favour" that Roman Abramovich did Arsenal over the sale of Petr Cech.
The Chelsea owner personally sanctioned the goalkeeper's £10m move to a direct rival, against Mourinho's previously stated wishes.