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Chelsea getting desperate as they make third bid for Everton's John Stones

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Is the transfer window closed yet?

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UPDATE: ESPN FC are reporting that Everton have turned down Chelsea's latest £30m bid for Everton defender John Stones.

Fresh from their spanking at the hands of Manchester City at the weekend, Chelsea's need to strengthen their squad before the deadline has stepped up a notch.

Whether he was making a point to Roman Abramovich or not, Jose Mourinho's decision to take off John Terry at half-time at the Etihad highlighted the former England captain's advancing years and explains why they are so desperate to bring in a centre-half.

Several newspapers including the Guardian are claiming that a third bid for John Stones has been submitted by the London club to Everton in the region of £30m.

That is only a modest increase on the £24m and £26m bids that were rejected earlier in the summer, with Everton's response expected to be exactly the same.

Despite the club's repeated insistence that Stones is not for sale the stories in the media have not gone away, with reports last week claiming £34m would be enough to persuade Everton to do a deal.

Now that fee has risen to £40m, which either represents a hardening of Everton's stance, or proves the media are stabbing in the dark when it comes to Stones' price-tag.

Everton have no desire to sell and as long as Stones doesn't push for a move there is little Chelsea can do - their initial public pursuit of the England defender (Terry, Cahill comments etc..) was a clear attempt to persuade Stones to do just that.

Given he appears to be happy to stay at the club (unlike Joleon Lescott in 2009) then Everton will just bat Chelsea's bids away right up until September 1.

Unless, of course, Chelsea come up with such an eye-watering bid that Everton cannot turn it down. But given their stance so far I doubt Chelsea will submit an offer high enough to be deemed acceptable, no matter how desperate they are.

Things can happen quickly though so I won't truly be able to rest easy until the window official 'slams shut' on at 6pm on September 1.

Last week Roberto Martinez was quoted on the club website as saying:

"He's a huge player for us. We're really looking forward to seeing the best of John over the next few seasons, not just the next few weeks.

"I'll never be upset about people asking about our players. Those are compliments; it means the players are performing well -- but nothing else. I've said before; the player's not for sale and that's the end of it."

If that's not a clear statement saying Stones is not for sale, then we don't quite know what will get the message across.