The transfer saga of the summer took another twist yesterday when John Stones handed in a transfer request to Everton in a bid to push through his move to Chelsea.
The Premier League champions have had three bids – £20, £26, and £30 million – for John Stones turned down by Everton already this summer and looked to have given up on signing him, turning their interest instead to Zenit St Petersburg defender Ezequiel Garay.
In many ways Garay could be a better option for Chelsea. He is 28 years old, has played for Real Madrid (where he worked with Jose Mourinho), Benfica, Zenit, and has 31 caps for Argentina. He has played in the Champions League, Europa League, Copa America, and World Cup. He is vastly more experienced and cheaper than Stones.
It looks as if Stones saw his chance to join Chelsea about to disappear and decided to take matters into his own hands and try to force through a deal.
Roberto Martinez doesn’t want to lose Stones, which considering Everton don’t have much in the way of defenders is understandable, and had previously said that even if Stones did hand in a transfer request he wouldn’t let him go, arguing that he is on a long-term deal so there was no need for Everton to sell him.
By putting in a transfer request Stones is showing a genuine desire to leave Everton and Chelsea which could tempt the champions into making a fourth bid for the player they view as the long-term successor for John Terry.
Chelsea’s next bid is rumoured to be in the £35 million range.
Everton might be best off selling Stones, you don’t want a player who is desperate to leave the club, and with only a week left to go before the transfer window closes they will need time to bring in a replacement. They don’t want to leave it until the last-minute and rush around for a replacement.