Manchester United have joined Chelsea FC in the race to sign Everton defender John Stones.

The 21-year-old is widely considered to be the best young center-back in England currently and a lot of clubs have been monitoring his progress at Goodison Park. The youngster signed for Everton in 2013 after coming up through the ranks at Barnsley.

Stones made 28 appearances for Everton last season and he even broke into the England national team in May last year. Roberto Martinez is keen to retain Stones, who will be a permanent fixture in the starting line-up next season, especially with Sylvain Distin and Antolin Alcaraz being released by the Merseyside club this summer. Chelsea however are interested in signing Stones and their initial bid of A?20 million was rejected by Everton.

Moreover, Everton were outraged by Chelseaa s public pursuit of the Englishman and Roberto Martinez has claimed that they wona t sell him this summer. Chelsea were expected to return with an improved offer, one which would break the record of the highest transfer fee paid for an English defender, but they are yet to make another move.

Manchester United to rival Chelsea for Stones

Apart from an outraged Everton hierarchy, who are not too keen on doing business with the Blues after the fiasco, Chelsea will now have to contain with Manchester United, who have reportedly joined the race for Stonesa signature.

The Mirror has claimed that the Red Devils have shifted their focus on the young center back and have a discreetlya contacted Everton regarding the possibility of a move.

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a Manchester United have joined the race for John Stones after discreet contact with Everton.

a And Louis van Gaal could have a better chance of landing the highly-rated 21-year-old defender than Stamford Bridge boss Jose Mourinho.a a Journalist Steve Bates wrote for Mirror.

United have a better chance of signing him than Chelsea

United are in the market for a new center back this summer and have already been engaged in a transfer battle with Real Madrid over Spanish defender Sergio Ramos. They have also been linked with Valencia defender Nicholas Otamendi, as a back-up option if their move for Ramos fail to materialize. Now seemingly they have turned their attention towards Stones, whom they have monitored for the last three seasons.

Louis van Gaal might have more success in his attempt to sign the youngster given Evertona s interest in couple of Manchester Uniteda s players. Roberto Martinez might push for an exchange offer if United submit an offer.

The Merseyside club have been linked with Jonny Evans, although Martinez has denied having submitted a bid for the defender. Ashley Young, Javier Hernandez and Tyler Blackett are all reportedly on Evertona s radar, and they might entertain a cash plus player deal for Stones, if United come up with an official offer.