Manchester United are increasingly confident of blowing Chelsea out of the waters to sign Everton centre half John Stones, according to the Daily Star. According to reports, Manchester United have had a bid of £40m accepted for the player.
Chelsea have also been linked with Stones throughout the summer, and Sky Sports reported yesterday that a third offer of £30m from the Blues has been rebuffed flatly by Everton. The Telgraph goes further to say £40m is what the Toffees are holding out for, and Chelsea could be prepared to fork out the fee or offer either Victor Moses or Bertrand Traore to Everton in order to seal the signing of Stones.
The Blues’ public pursuit of Stones has led to Everton’s stout-hearted stance about not dealing with the west London club, therefore, United are well-placed to capture the 21-year old former Barnsley ace ahead of Chelsea.
Jose Mourinho sees Stones as John Terry’s long term heir and the Portuguese’ decision to substitute the Chelsea skipper at half time last Sunday against Manchester City is understood to be a clear statement to the club chiefs that he wants a faster and younger Stones.
But with Everton reportedly not wanting to deal with Chelsea, Stones has risen up Louis van Gaal’s wanted list at Old Trafford after Sergio Ramos recently penned a new five-year deal at Real Madrid and Nicolas Otamendi seemingly close to sealing a move to Manchester City.
Stones’ signing would go a long way to help United whose manager has been forced to utilise a midfielder – Daley Blind – at the heart of defence in all of their competitive games of the season, with Phil Jones sidelined by mild thrombosis.
Manchester United have one leg in the Champions league proper after winning 3-1 against Club Brugge at Old Trafford last night, and they will be hoping they pull off the transfer for Stones in order to boost their chances of a silverware this season.