• Everton chairman Bill Kenwright confirms John Stones’ transfer request has been turned down 
  • The 21-year-old handed in a request on Tuesday to force Chelsea move 
  • The Premier League champions have had three bids rejected for the England defender 
  • Roberto Martinez has insisted that Everton will not sell Stones this summer

Dominic King for the Daily Mail

Everton insist the John Stones saga is over after formally rejecting the defender’s request to join Chelsea.

Chairman Bill Kenwright issued a succinct three paragraph statement on Thursday night to reaffirm the stance Everton have taken all summer – that Stones is simply not for sale.

Stones submitted his request on Tuesday in the hope of forcing through a move to Stamford Bridge but Everton manager Roberto Martinez told him during a meeting at the club’s Finch Farm on Thursday that the club would not grant his wish.

Chelsea target John Stones handed in a transfer request on Tuesday and wants to join Chelsea

But Stones is considering moving house after receiving threats from Everton fans.

He was also abused by travelling supporters after his side’s Capital One Cup win at Barnsley on Wednesday night — the first time he has returned to his former club since he left in 2013.

He was in the starting line-up for the 5-3 extra-time win but was heckled off the Oakwell pitch by some of the away support. Footage from the stands showed one fan shouting: ‘F*** off Stones, you f****** rat’.

As far as Martinez is concerned, it will be a case of business as usual and Stones will be selected for the squad that travels down to London for Saturday’s clash with Tottenham Hotspur. 

It is understood that Chelsea returned with what they regarded to be a fourth and final bid earlier this week – it was in the region of £38million – but with that being rejected, it became clear that Everton’s position would not alter.

The 21-year-old had been Jose Mourinho’s prime target all summer. 

He has regarded Stones as being John Terry’s long-term successor and has had ambitions of pairing the England international alongside Kurt Zouma sooner rather than later. 

But Everton have refused to buckle under intense pressure – Chelsea’s interest in Stones goes back months and there have been bids of £20million, £26million and £30million – even though they were aware of Stones’ desire to join the Champions. 

The defender started as Everton were taken to extra time by Barnsley before winning 5-3 in the League Cup

The defender started as Everton were taken to extra time by Barnsley before winning 5-3 in the League Cup

Everton manager Roberto Martinez said after the game the club would reject Stones' request on Thursday

Everton manager Roberto Martinez said after the game the club would reject Stones’ request on Thursday

Kenwright said: ‘Everton Football Club has rejected a transfer request from John Stones.

‘Since the start of the transfer window, we have resolutely turned down offers from another Premier League football club for our player.

‘John is not for sale and he will remain a highly valued member of our first team squad.’

With Mourinho anxious to bolster his defence, he may now turn to Zenit St Petersburg’s Ezequiel Garay but his admiration for Stones will not disappear and there is little doubt Chelsea will continue to track him in the future.

Chelsea have already seen three offers for Stones rejected and are expected to return with a fourth

Chelsea have already seen three offers for Stones rejected and are expected to return with a fourth

‘The situation with John is very clear. We care about him. We will protect him and make sure we give him everything we can to allow him to enjoy his football. Clearly we have got to a point – in life and football – when sometimes money can’t buy everything.

‘I think that is going to be a very strong statement at Everton. We have a chairman who will do the right thing for the club and for the team and, as a true Evertonian, we are clear he will not be easily influenced in taking the money and accepting things which will clearly make our team weaker.

‘This is not a moment of the campaign when we can use any money to get us stronger. John is under massive, massive pressure and I thought he was terrific. I think it is wrong for the window to be open. The situation is very clear. We are going to protect him and give him everything we can.’ 

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