Chelsea have joined the race to sign Everton defender John Stones this summer, according to the Sunday People.
Jose Mourinho is reportedly a huge fan of the player and is willing to challenge Manchester United for his signature. The player would also qualify as home-grown and would help Chelsea meet their quota, as stipulated by the English FA for teams plying in the Premier League.
Chelsea currently have John Terry, Gary Cahill and Kurt Zouma as their first choice centre-backs and Stones would be a welcome addition to the squad if they have to challenge on multiple fronts next season. Stones is known for his versatility, with the player also capable of playing at full-back, where he has been deployed by the Toffees this season.
However, Roberto Martinez is desperate to hold on to his best players this summer after a disastrous campaign where they failed to make it to the top seven, a massive decline from when they challenged Arsenal for a top-four spot in 2013/14.
Mourinho will face competition from Manchester United, who are also in the market to heavily strengthen their squad this summer. Louis van Gaal has delivered on his promise to take United back to the Champions League, but after two major investments, fans will be hoping for a title challenge when the season begins on 7 August.
The Red Devils currently have Chris Smalling, Marcos Rojo, Jonny Evans and Phil Jones as their recognised centre-backs with Paddy McNair and Tyler Blackett also inducted to the team after a myriad of injuries to their backline.
Mourinho has turned his attention to Stones after being rebuffed in his attempt to sign Rafael Varane from Real Madrid, who have categorically ruled the Frenchman out for transfer. Stones will be a quality successor to Terry, who has entered his mid-30s and is unlikely to carry on at the club for much longer.