There are some inevitable things in life; death, taxes, José Mourinho saying something absurd and petulant. Lest we forget, Chelsea reigniting their interest in John Stones of Everton in the New Year.
The latter is certainly expected to be witnessed considering the way Chelsea chased Stones over the summer, only for their FOUR offers to be rebuffed by the irrepressible and resolute Toffees. Many have thought Stones was going to get rewarded with a new contract at Goodison Park for his loyalty, but that has not been the case.
Meanwhile, as if Chelsea are not going to face an arduous task of luring Stones to Stamford Bridge in the winter transfer window already, the Blues now have another competitor as regards this transfer; the mighty champions of Europe – Barcelona. As per the Telegraph, the Catalan giants have joined Chelsea – alongside potential suitors Manchester United – in the bidding war for Stones. David Pasztor of the SB Nation says Barça, Chelsea and Man United retain the belief that money can get them Stones, regardless of what Everton boss Roberto Martinez “may or may not be singing in the shower”.
It is thought Barcelona interest in the England international defender might have popped up based on Gerard Pique’s recent public admiration of the 21-year old centre-back, who is regarded as one of a new generation who understand football not just as a defender. The Barca defender had named Stones in his world starting XI alongside himself.
There are claims scouts from the Nou Camp were interested in watching Stones in action for England against Spain on Friday, but the former Barnsley ace did not feature for Roy Hodgson’s side. However, that did his reputation no harm as Stones put in an assured display against France on Tuesday as England ran out 2-0 winners.
Having said that, it is clear the most sought-after centre-back in England will not be at Everton much longer. In the summer, £30m – £40m could not get the transfer done. Now how much higher the price will go, and which club would be willing to cough up the expected hefty fee is still left to be seen.
Either way, Chelsea should do all within their abilities to ensure Stones remain in England – but switch tents to Stamford Bridge. The Blues defence has been uncharacterisically poor this term and have conceded 23 goals already in just 12 Premier League game. It appears Mourinho already saw this coming in the summer and that is why he was on the tail on Stones until the end; just as he promised.