John Stones
Manchester United are plotting a move for Everton defender John Stones, who is also a target for Chelsea Getty

Manchester United have reportedly entered the race to sign Everton defender John Stones, who is Chelsea's priority target this summer, and are prepared to offer a player-plus-cash deal involving Jonny Evans, according to ESPN FC.

Louis van Gaal has been in the market for a central defender this summer, and has been lined with a host of players, but Sergio Ramos and Nicolas Otamendi have been the most frequently mentioned names in recent months.

The Old Trafford club were keen on signing the defender, and according to Spanish publication El Pais, had placed a €60m (£42.6m, $66.6m) bid to bring the defender to England. However, according to Marca the defender has snubbed a potential move and agreed a new five-year deal with the Spanish capital club.

This has prompted the Dutch manager to plot a move for Stones, who has been subject to bids from the Premier League champions, with Jose Mourinho openly discussing the club's bid and his admiration for the young defender.

United are hoping that an offer, which includes a ready-made replacement will tempt the Merseyside club into selling to them rather than Chelsea. Jonny Evans has been deemed surplus to requirements at Old Trafford and will be included in the deal to sign Stones from the Goodison Park outfit.

Everton are reluctant to let the England international, who has now fully established himself at the heart of Toffees' back four, leave the club, but according to The Guardian, the Blues are preparing yet another £30m ($46.8m) move to bring the defender to Stamford Bridge.

Roberto Martinez has made it clear that Stones is not for sale at any cost, but former Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp feels that the club will be powerless to stop the defender, if he wants to make the move to Chelsea.

"When you've been in the game long enough you know, if a player wants to go, he's going to go," Redknapp told talkSPORT

"I would think if the money's right... David De Gea wants to leave Man United - he wants to go but it's just when a deal can be done that suits everybody - and I think it's the same with Stones," the former QPR manager explained.

"It's a shame. Everton brought him in and gave him the opportunities, he's been there 18 months and suddenly he's off to Chelsea. But he'll be a good signing for Chelsea and he'll give them good cover and good competition at centre-half," he added.