The Sunday Mirror are reporting that Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has insisted that he has not given up in his pursuit of highly-rated Everton defender John Stones, despite the Toffees remaining adamant that the player will not be sold this summer.
Mourinho has already seen a £20 million bid turned down by Everton for the 21-year-old centre-back, as the Portuguese looks for a long-term replacement for John Terry once the Blues skipper finally hangs up his boots.
However, while speaking to the media in Montreal – where Chelsea are currently touring ahead of the new campaign – Mourinho has claimed that there is still a chance for a deal to be reached on Stones, despite Everton boss Roberto Martinez stating publicly that he is not for sale.
“At the moment Everton say, ‘We don’t accept this bid’. They don’t say, ‘We don’t accept any bid,’” he said.
“While they say, ‘We don’t accept this bid’, until September 1 [when the summer transfer window closes] we can improve it. One pound more, ten pounds more – we can improve the bid. It is an open market until September 1.
“If one day Roberto, or the chairman, come and say: ‘He’s not for sale, we don’t accept any bid’, [then it’s] game over. So during this process, it’s clear.
“We don’t deny we made a bid for Stones. It means we are trying to buy.”
The Blues are poised to make a second, improved bid for England international Stones in the coming few days and are determined to make the youngster a Chelsea player before the champions begin their title defence next month on August 8.