Everton defender almost joined Chelsea (not Stones)

Everton newbie Rodrigo Funes Mori has revealed that he came close to joining Chelsea a few years ago after spending a period on trial at the club.

The 24-year-old Argentine signed for the Toffees on transfer deadline day from River Plate in a deal worth £9.7m and made his debut in the Merseysiders’ 3-1 win over the London club on Saturday.

Funes Mori has long been talked about as one of South America’s top emerging centre-backs, with top teams from Europe having been monitoring his progress for some time.

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And the 6ft. 2” enforcer has now revealed that had red tape not got in the way he could well be playing for Chelsea:

“It can be said that it’s my second spell at England – I did a trial for Chelsea a few years ago alongside with my twin brother,” he is quoted by The Express. “We stayed at Chelsea for two weeks but had to leave because we didn’t have an European passport.

“Well, I still don’t have a European passport but Everton truly wanted me. So now I hope to be ready and get used to playing in the Premier League as soon as possible.”

Despite the troubles Chelsea faced when attempting to snap up the centre-back, Everton successfully applied for a work-permit to bring Funes Mori across the Atlantic Ocean.

The defender’s brother, Rogelio, plays for Mexican outfit Monterrey.