Everton's relationship with Chelsea continues to deteriorate with Jose Mourinho having a dig at Everton and manager Roberto Martinez over the availability of John Stones.
With a second £32million bid seemingly imminent Mourinho has accused Everton of giving out mixed messages over the defender and insists Chelsea have behaved correctly.
In an increasingly bitter war of words, Mourinho appears to refute Martinez's suggestion that Everton have told Chelsea via a letter that Stones is not for sale and denies they are behaving improperly by tapping up the player.
The fact Mourinho continues to talk about Stones contradicts his argument somewhat, but given he never seems to think he is wrong it should come as little surprise that he maintains his innocence in this whole saga.
Speaking of the Stones bid and Everton's angry response, Mourinho said:
"Next year we are going to make the first bid on the 1st of September. On the 1st of September we will do a bid for the season later. Because at this moment, until the 31st of August, it is closed. The market is closed. We are all in a strange world. We are all in a strange world. We think it is open but it is not open. It is closed. So on the 1st of September we are going to make a bid for the next season."
The Portuguese (continuing to happily talk about a player at another club) accepts that it would take a large fee to prize Stones away from Goodison Park.
He also hints that there may well be a limit to what he is prepared to pay for the 21-year-old as Everton continue to stand firm, choosing to take a swipe at the Toffees in the process.
"That is the market now. You only pay it if you want to. If you don't want to pay it, don't pay. It's as simple as that. The market has no rules or limits from season to season."
"It's a good market. That's why smaller clubs, if they have interesting young English players, they use that in the right way for them.
"I don't criticise them. They play the market for themselves. If the big clubs don't want to go over certain limits, they have to make a decision."
The supporters are understandably angry as they feel Chelsea are deliberately seeking to unsettle Stones and encourage him to push for a move. I hope such behaviour will only strengthen Everton's resolve to not sell.