England centre-back John Stones remains a target for Chelsea this summer despite his recent travails with Everton, according to reports.
Several of the morning papers claim Stones, whose performance in Wednesday’s 4-0 loss to Liverpool brought further unwanted scrutiny, is a transfer target for incoming Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte.
The 21-year-old was pursued by Chelsea and Jose Mourinho last summer, but the Toffees rebuffed three bids, with the third in excess of £30million.
Speaking about the player in January, Roberto Martinez said: “He is still on a long-term contract and nothing has changed.
“Any player who performs well in the first team, we are a football club that wants to reward that good work on the pitch and that will never change.”
Chelsea, who considered signing Stones from Barnsley before his move to Goodison Park in early 2013, may revive their interest this summer, although they are reportedly not the only ones coveting the defender.
Stones was targeted by Mourinho as a long-term successor to John Terry, who is out of contract at the end of the season. And now Conte appears set to continue the pursuit.
What that means for Terry is uncertain.
The 35-year-old is out of contract this summer and revealed in January he would be leaving the Blues, who maintain the offer of a new one-year deal could be forthcoming.
Conte will have a major say in the future of Terry.
Everton striker Romelu Lukaku has also been linked with a return to Stamford Bridge.
The Blues sold the Belgium striker for £28million in July 2014 and it has been reported double that fee might be required to prise him from Goodison Park.