Chelsea have had two offers thrown out for England U21 defender John Stones with Manchester United apparently also interested in recruiting the centre-half. According to media reports, Chelsea have had offers of £20m and £26m rejected, but are ready to make a third bid of around £30m for a figure they crave. Everton may be willing to do business for a fee of £30m yet there is no guarantee he will go anywhere this summer with his manager Roberto Martinez adamant that the club are big enough to keep Stones, 21, where he is. Everton won’t sell unless Stones demands a move, but what is his wisest option: Stick or twist? Remain where he is? Or join Chelsea or Manchester United?

Rio Ferdinand.

Image credit: Getty Images

Why he should join United? The former professional's view

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Rio Ferdinand has suggested he could become a central figure at United rather than a support act at Chelsea. Well, you could argue he would say that having turned out for United for over a decade, but Ferdinand seems to have a valid point. At Chelsea, he could find himself behind John Terry, Gary Cahill and Kurt Zouma while only Chris Smalling and Phil Jones would trouble him at United. It is a theme Ferdinand warmed to in this morning's press.
If he goes to Man United, he plays every week so that's the right club for him. If he goes to Chelsea, he's not playing every week. He's at that stage of his development where he wants to play every week. If you say to any young footballer to leave a club to sit on the bench, you've got to be a lunatic. You have to be.
"I don't think (Van Gaal) knows his best defence - that's a problem in itself. Part of the reason he doesn't know it is because he hasn't had a chance to watch them all play over a long time - consistently for 12 or 15 games. If you don't get that familiarity between you as defenders, it's difficult to build foundations."

Why he should join Chelsea? The journalist's view

Chelsea are the Premier League champions, and can offer the very real prospect of medals in England and Europe. They are also likely to offer him a serious wage rise for moving to London from Merseyside. More importantly, they want him. And Jose Mourinho wants him. And he gets the chance to learn some leadership skills from JT. Darren Lewis, the Daily Mirror’s football correspondent, made the case why a move to Chelsea would appeal to the player. “We all know about the pursuit of John Stones. Chelsea will go back in for him – they are desperate to get that player, “ he said. “They like him, they think he’s very talented and he’s a long term successor to John Terry. They are convinced of possibly managing to do a deal.”

John Stones in action for England

Image credit: Imago

Why he should stay at Everton? Our view

Well, there is the question of loyalty. Remember that old chestnut. Always sounds good in theory. And there is also the question of playing week in, week out. If he remains at Everton for another season or two, he would get the chance to hone his skills in the Premier League. And he would only be 22 or 23. There is every chance he could pick his next move at that stage. If he decides to jump now, it is a leap into the great unknown. Yes, he would pick up more money at Chelsea or United, but he faces an uncertain future at Chelsea where he could be consigned to the doldrums if Terry and Cahill remain in such majestic form this season. Throw in Zouma, and that is a formidable barrier to career development.
United offer him better prospects of playing, but there is not a great degree of stability at Old Trafford with LVG trying to piece together a new defence that can mount some sort of challenge to more settled squads in Chelsea, Manchester City and it must be said Arsenal. Everton will want £30m before they do business, but will surely only look to sell Stones if the player requests a move. It would be refreshing if he remains at Everton, and also heartening news for England manager Roy Hodgson.
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