In January, Manchester United will join the race to sign 21-year-old Everton defender John Stones, who has also attracted interest from the likes of Chelsea FC and Barcelona.

 

One of the biggest stories of the summer transfer window was Chelsea FC’s chase of young England centre-back John Stones, who Everton have managed to keep at Goodison Park despite the interest of the current Premier League title holders.

Stones had a breakthrough season with Everton in 2014-15, attracting interest from a number of top clubs thanks to his tenacity as well as his elegance on the ball. But Everton manager Roberto Martinez was hell-bent on keeping him at the club despite three progressively larger bids from Chelsea FC — believed to exceed A?30 million — even though Stones handed in a transfer request.

The next big thing

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The ball-playing central defender has started this season for Everton in good form as well. He has completed 89% of his passes — the best at Everton — and has also won 54% of his tackles, while winning an impressive 61% of his aerial duels, according to Squawka.com.

The 6 ft 2in defender does not shy away from playing the ball and can help set up attacks from the back.a Youa ve got to keep doing what you know and not go into your shell,a said Stones after the England-France game [via: The Telegraph].

a Thata s the only way Ia m going to improve, by taking risks sometimes, and the France game was a great opportunity to do that and to showcase myself.a

Bidding wars between the big guns

Louis van Gaal had reportedly been interested in the player in the summer transfer window, but was dissuaded from his pursuit because he did not want to get into a bidding war with Chelsea FC. These inhibitions seem to have been removed by Stones’ continued good performances for both club and country, and United could entice Stones to Old Trafford after the bitter transfer saga between Everton and the Chelsea in the summer.

United will have to be wary of Barcelona as well, with reports coming in of the Liga giants heavily scouting the player during recent games.

Stones is reportedly worth A?40 million pounds to Everton, but with big clubs like Chelsea FC, Manchester United and Barcelona interested, all of whom are known to have deep pockets, there is no telling how much the price of the player will rise to before a transfer fee is finalized.