Everton have officially rejected a third Chelsea bid worth £30million for John Stones, according to reports from the Telegraph.
Stones has been heavily linked with a move away from Goodison Park in recent weeks, with Manchester United also keen on the centre-back.
The Blues have already made offers worth £20million and £26million for the 21-year-old previously, and were confident that a third bid would persuade the Toffees to part ways with the England international.
However, the Everton hierarchy have turned down the £30million proposal, which will come as a big blow to the current Premier League champions.
Chelsea are desperate to reinforce their defence after losing 3-0 to last year’s runners up Manchester City, a game which saw club captain John Terry subbed off at half-time.
Blues manager Jose Mourinho sees Stones as the perfect heir to Terry, but may need to up his offer to around £40million to bring him in before the end of the transfer window.