Football: Chelsea to bid £26m for Everton's John Stones in next 48 hours

John Stones speaks to manager Roberto Martinez during the Barclays Asia Trophy Finals at National Stadium Singapore.
John Stones speaks to manager Roberto Martinez during the Barclays Asia Trophy Finals at National Stadium Singapore.PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (GUARDIAN) - Chelsea will make a £26 million (S$55 million) bid for John Stones within the next 48 hours.

Jose Mourinho remains desperate to sign the Everton defender and has not been put off by Roberto Martinez's anger over the battle for his signature.

The Premier League champions had a bid of £20m turned down by Martinez last week with the Spaniard furious with Mourinho, his Chelsea counterpart, for openly talking about the move.

Yet the Portuguese has seen his defenders struggle so far during the club's North America tour and will push on with his pursuit of the England international.

Stones, 21, is understood to be keen on a transfer to the Premier League champions and knows the option of playing Champions League football next season will ultimately be too good an offer to refuse.

Relations between the two clubs remain strained and hearing Gary Cahill, who has played with Stones for England, commenting last week how beneficial it would be to have him at Stamford Bridge did not go down well on Merseyside.

Mourinho, however, has not been deterred and is hopeful a fee can be agreed before the start of the Premier League season on August 8.

Stones is seen as the perfect long-term replacement for John Terry. The fee could go higher than £30m depending on how long Martinez digs his heels in.

It will represent the first major spending of the summer for Chelsea after bringing in Radamel Falcao on loan from Monaco and signing Asmir Begovic from Stoke.

Mourinho has watched with interest as his Premier League rivals spend huge amounts to wrest domestic power away from Chelsea.

After Saturday's friendly win over PSG here he accused Manchester City, Manchester United and Liverpool of trying to buy the title.

"In the beginning of Mr Abramovich coming to Chelsea, Chelsea was buying the title," said Mourinho. "Now, they are buying the title. All of them, they are buying the title.

It is up to us to be strong and to fight them and, obviously, to try and win it again, even without the big investments."