Chelsea are ready to test Everton's resolve yet again during the ongoing January transfer window with a bid for defender John Stones. The Blues have been in pursuit of the young defender from last summer and failed to persuade the Toffees to sell him despite making multiple big money bids.
According to talkSPORT, Blues owner Roman Abramovich has set aside £50m ($71m) to ensure he secures the England international defender's signature. Chelsea have earmarked him as the ideal replacement for skipper John Terry and are desperate to bring him to Stamford Bridge ahead of other interested clubs. Premier League rivals Manchester United and European giants Real Madrid are the other clubs that have been credited with interest in the defender and both the clubs, who are number two and number one in the rich list respectively, will be able to match any fee the west London club stumps up.
Former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho was a big admirer of Stones, who has established himself as one of the best central defenders in England, and despite the Portuguese manager's departure, the young defender still remains the club's top target. The Toffees star also was keen on a move in the summer and submitted a transfer request to push through a move, but it was outrightly rejected by Everton, with Roberto Martinez making it clear that he is not for sale.
The reigning Premier League champions, however, are unlikely to be deterred and will test the Toffees' resolve yet again with a fresh bid during the January transfer window. Chelsea are having a season to forget and are currently in 14th place, with manager Guus Hiddink admitting that they are part of the clubs battling relegation. The Spanish manager, meanwhile, has indicated yet again that he will not be allowed to leave midway through the season, but a bid in the region of £50m could tempt the club to cash in.