Chelsea is reportedly readying a £40 million ($62.742 million) transfer bid for Everton defender John Stones.
The Guardianreports the Blues are preparing their fourth offer for the 21-year-old defender after having bids of £20 million, £26m and £30m rejected. Stones reportedly handed in an official transfer request Tuesday.
Last week, Everton manager Roberto Martinez dismissed the idea of Stones having made any transfer request. But the player reportedly informed Martinez in private last week that he preferred to move to Chelsea.
Stones is an English national with four senior team appearances already to his name. He will be part of the squad for England's upcoming Euro 2016 qualifiers against San Marino and Switzerland and has been impressive early in the season.
The formal transfer request does not ensure a move, but places the onus on Everton: if Stones leaves, Phil Jagielka becomes the team's only central defender.
The transfer deadline for EPL teams is Tuesday, Sept. 1. Chelsea added forward Pedro from Barcelona last week for £21.2 million.
- Jeremy Woo