Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has revealed the club have made Everton an offer for John Stones and will continue to chase the defender unless told he is not for sale.
Reports suggested that the Premier League champions made a bid – thought to be in the region of £20million – for Stones on Thursday that was rejected.
Everton manager Roberto Martinez issued a hands-off warning to Chelsea following his side’s 3-1 defeat to Arsenal in the Asia Trophy final on Saturday, but Mourinho appears to have taken little notice of the Spaniard’s words.
“We made a bid, we can make it – it’s an open market until September 1,” he said.
“At the moment they say we don’t accept this bid – they don’t say: ‘We don’t accept bids; any bids’.
“While they say we don’t accept this bid, until September 1 we can improve the bid, one pound more, 10 pounds more, we can improve the bid.
“If one day Roberto Martinez or the chairman come and say he’s not for sale, we don’t accept any bid, it’s game over.
“So during this process, it’s clear, we don’t deny we made a bid for Stones. It means we are trying to buy.”