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Chelsea poised to make fresh bid as Everton struggle to keep John Stones

Chelsea set to test the water despite Everton's resistance

Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

The John Stones saga rolls into another week.

Several news sources claim Chelsea will lodge a second bid for the England defender early this week in the region of £26million.

Everton insist Stones is not for sale and rejected an initial £20million offer last week, with Roberto Martinez also expressing his frustration at Chesea's very public pursuit of the player.

The London club have not been put off by Martinez's words and if anything have aggressively stepped up their public wooing for the former Barnsley man, with Jose Mourinho and Gary Cahill speaking to the media about Stones and his potential move to Stamford Bridge (are there rules against that sort of thing? Apparently not...).

That behaviour should only serve to strengthen Everton's resolve and they remain in strong bargaining position given Stones has four years left on his contract left to run and does not appear to be actively pushing for a move.

However, as we all know, every player has his price and if Chelsea come back with an offer in excess of £30million, Everton may find it hard to refuse.

Any fee in excess of £32million would break the British transfer record for a defender, set when Man Utd crazily spent that whopping amount on Luke Shaw last summer.

Martinez was coy when asked about Stones following Sunday's win at Hearts, insisting he is focusing on bringing at least two players in before the deadline.

It seems Chelsea are ready to battle right until the deadline to land their man, with Evertonians nervously counting down the days until September 1.

That said, given Everton's recent transfer record, most of us sadly know how this one is going to end.