Incoming Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is ready to beat Manchester City to the signing of John Stones according to The Sun.
The Italian manager does not take over officially at Stamford Bridge until July but it appears the young Everton defender is his main transfer target.
The West London outfit had three bids of up to £37million rejected summer and it looks as though the Blues are ready to try again to get the centre-half on their books.
Stones has suffered some criticism this season, making a number of high profile mistakes for both club and country, leading Everton manager Roberto Martinez to defend him publicly.
This however, does not seem to have perturbed potential suitors and interest in the player remains strong with Chelsea set to have a battle on their hands to secure his services.
Manchester City are interested in gaining Stones’ signature and it is thought with Pep Guardiola inbound, the defender would prefer to work with the Spaniard.
Manchester City will also be able to offer Stones European football next term, something Chelsea are currently on course to miss out on.
Sitting in 10th position in the Premier League and out of all cup competitions it looks as though the Blues will have at least one season away from the European stage.