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Is John Stones Chelsea's long-term defensive solution?

Will Everton be able to withstand the pressure being applied by Chelsea in pursuit of England defender John Stones?

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Chelsea have gone about their pursuit of Everton defender John Stones in an unusually public fashion, with José Mourinho having confirmed that the Blues have had a (reported £20 million) bid turned down by Roberto Martínez. He also suggested that they'd continue to try and sign the young England international, with the Daily Mail quoting him as saying "we can improve the bid: £1 more, £10 more, we can improve the bid."

Unsurprisingly, Everton's boss, Roberto Martínez, has been rather unimpressed by Chelsea's brute force attempt at getting Stones to kick up a fuss and force a move to Stamford Bridge, with the Telegraph reporting that the Toffees had told Chelsea that their star defender wasn't for sale even before the Blues submitted their first bid. With Mourinho looking undeterred, this transfer could quickly achieve 'saga' status.

Why it makes sense

John Stones is very good, and at only 21 years old, still very young. He's almost certainly going to end up at one of England's top clubs, the only questions are when and where. Of those aforementioned top clubs, it's arguably Chelsea who are most desperate to add some youthful zeal to their center-half pairing: John Terry is now 34 years old and Gary Cahill, 29. The only cover is provided by Kurt Zouma and Kenneth Omeruo: the former should be very good but is still inexperienced -- the latter struggled last season on loan in England's second tier.

So, Stones would add quality and, despite being so young, experience of being a regular in the Premier League. He'd provide some much-needed strength in depth, and it makes sense that Mourinho would be so eager to sign him.

Why it doesn't make sense

However, when Everton say that Stones is not for sale, it may just be because he's not for sale. Sure, they've not got anywhere near the spending power of England's top five, but they won't be bullied into selling their star asset. When they have sold their key players in the past, they've generally held onto them until they were into the peak years of their careers: Joleon Lescott left for Manchester City for £20m at 27; Mikel Arteta was 29 when he completed a £10m move to Arsenal; Marouane Fellaini's huge £27m switch to Manchester United didn't happen until he was 25.

What's more, with four years left on Stones' contract, Everton aren't going to be panicking.

Likelihood it happens

This transfer has moved some way beyond 'rumor' phase, but that oddly doesn't seem to have increased its chances of happening. We know Chelsea are interested, but we also know that Everton are stubbornly refusing to budge (and with Stones' contract having as long to run as it does, rightly so). We reckon they're going to try and squeeze another season or two out of their defensive jewel before flogging him to Chelsea, so there's a 5 out of 10 chance of it happening right away.

This is a post from our transfer rumors section. For news, analysis and more, check out the main SB Nation Soccer page.