The John Stones saga had quietened for a while following Everton’s rejection of a A?20 million offer form Chelsea FC for their star defender, but is now set to reignite with the Blues on the verge of making their second formal bid for the youngster

Chelsea FC have conceded five goals in their first two pre-season games against the New York Red Bulls and PSG, and have looked shaky at the back in each. That has, perhaps, played a part in prompting manager Jos Mourinho to return with a bigger offer for highly-rated defensive prospect John Stones.

The Blues’ manager has been engaged in a war of words with Roberto Mart nez following the news of Everton’s rejection of the first A?20 million Chelsea FC bid, but reportedly remains convinced that he can lure the young Englishman to Stamford Bridge this summer.

Chelsea FC to make A?26 million offer in the coming days

As was widely expected, it appears that the Blues are willing to increase their offer for John Stones in a bid to pry him away from Merseyside. The Blues have made just two signings this summer, but are likely to try and make two more – a left-back to replace the departing Filipe Lu s, and a centre-back who could well be the young England international.

According to leading English newspapers, including the Guardian, Mail Online and the Telegraph, Chelsea FC will return with a A?26 million offer for the 21-year-old within the next 48 hours, with a view to wrapping up the deal before the Blues take on rivals Arsenal at Wembley in the season’s curtain-raising Community Shield on Sunday.

The reports are all in agreement that Stones himself is keen on the move, although a deal could be made difficult due to the strained relations between the two clubs following the events of the past couple of weeks.

Story likely coming from one source

Given that all of the leading newspapers in the UK are carrying the same story at the same time, it is apparent that the journalists from the respective papers have been briefed by the same source. The very specific nature of the reports – the amount set to be offered as well as the time-frame of ’48 hours’ – makes it all the more suspicious.

This might be just the sort of thing that Roberto Martinez was alluding to when he talked about Chelsea FC publicly pursuing his star defender. Indeed, it is quite likely that the source is one that is close to the Stamford Bridge outfit, and the club’s strategy is likely to make Everton dig in their heels further.

With the club season proper drawing ever closer, however, a decision one way or another does not appear to be too far away.