Chelsea ready to smash record to land major target

Chelsea are pondering a ‘take it or leave it’ final offer worth £40m for Everton’s John Stones, according to reports from The Guardian.

The Blues have already had three bids for the 21-year-old centre-back rejected, with the latest understood to have been worth around £30m.

However, the London club have not been deterred, with reports claiming that a £40m offer is being prepared at Stamford Bridge.

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Such a sum would make Stones the most expensive defender in the history of English football, beating the £32m fee Manchester City paid for Eliaquim Mangala – only PSG duo David Luiz and Thiago Silva have commanded bigger fees.

Everton have maintained that they have no interest in selling their four-cap England international, however, such a sum may be too good to turn down.

Stones could be a long-term replacement for Chelsea hero John Terry, who was hauled off by Jose Mourinho at half-time in the weekend defeat at the Etihad Stadium.