According to Sky Sports, highly-rated young Everton centre-back John Stones has handed in a transfer request at the Merseyside club.
The England international has been subject of three failed bids by reigning Premier League champions Chelsea, the latest of which was reported as £30million.
This latest develop is likely to see the Blues return with an improved offer, although Everton are not likely to do a deal easily and will probably hold out for as much money as they can get for their centre-back.
Stones has also been linked with a move to Manchester United, but Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea are clear favourites after courting the youngster for much of the summer.
The transfer request represents bad news for Toffees boss Roberto Martinez, who currently only really has two senior centre-backs in his squad.
The Spaniard is still waiting to tie up a deal for Argentinian international centre Ramiro Funes Mori of River Plate. The 24-year-old is on Merseyside awaiting a work permit.
The Toffees boss is unlikely to stop their though, as the Merseysider’s have also been linked with a £5million move for Tottenham’s Argentinian centre-back Federico Fazio.
Martinez is also looking at bringing in 22-year-old Uruguayan Leandro Rodriguez from River Plate Montevideo, but a deal is not yet complete.
The former-Wigan boss recently admitted that he wants to make three signings before the transfer window shuts. However, time is running out for Martinez to strengthen his squad and possibly even replace one of his key players in Stones.
Will John Stones leave Everton before the transfer window shuts?