Resilient Roberto Martinez clings on to wantaway defender John Stones

Andy Dillon by Andy Dillon / 02 September 2015, 09:02

Roberto MartinezThe Sun's Andy Dillon (@andydillon70) takes a look at the John Stones saga that gripped the later stages of the summer transfer window.

ROBERTO MARTINEZ will no doubt sit down tonight and sink a glass of Rioja feeling pretty self-satisfied.

No doubt convinced that he and Everton have struck a blow for middle England in seeing off the ogres at Chelsea in the increasingly bitter tug of war over John Stones.

Everton resisted every attempt by the money men from the big city to lure their prized defender down South and as such have emerged triumphant and a better club for it with the transfer window shut.

And what is Martinez left with as he toasts victory? Everton's bloody-minded boss has done nothing except prove that dogma can still override good business sense even in modern football.

Chelsea were willing to go upwards of 35 million for a central defender who is still trading on potential rather than pedigree.

Stones, 21, only signed for Everton in 2013 and for just 3 million in what was a typical under-the-radar move by Martinez's astute predecessor David Moyes.

Take one figure from the other, subtract Barnsley's sell on fee and Everton stood to make a profit of some 30 million - a massive mark up on a centre half and it opens a world of opportunity to buy in another top defender with money to spare.

It is foolhardy at best and dangerous at worst for any club to say one of their players is not for sale at any price.

Not even Chelsea are that daft.

David Luiz, the mop-top Brazilian centre half, was erratic but still a Champions League winner when Paris St.Germain couldn't wait to part with 50m for him.

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho saw the sense in that and with the cash has brought in the rapidly improving and versatile Kurt Zouma for less than a third of that.

And he has quickly moved on from Stones by swooping for Papy Djilobodji for around 4m - a fraction of what he would have paid for Everton's crown jewel.

They also saw it was a good deal flogging Juan Mata to Manchester United and Petr Cech to Arsenal.

Keeping Stones won't make much difference to Everton's season either.

Martinez laughably claims the lad 'didn't mean' to put in the transfer request which Everton so publicly rejected.

And while Martinez has continually attacked Chelsea for trying to unsettle Stones during this bitter transfer window tussle it was actually Everton that did most of the talking.

News first appeared about a bid from Chelsea during Everton's summer tour of Asia. Mourinho, on tour with his club in Canada at the time, merely confirmed it.

After which Everton did nothing but talk up Stones in a bid to talk up his price. Then wonder why a transfer request lands on Martinez's desk when the boy begins to believe all the publicity.

Then the fans turn on him making Stones want out even more; Chelsea keep bumping up the price but it's now too late.

The personal Iberian duel between Spaniard Martinez and Portuguese Mourinho has gone too far down the line and the deal ain't happening.

We get to Tuesday at 6pm UK time, the window is closed and no deal done.

Chelsea have gone shopping elsewhere and Everton are left with a highly-promising young player who doesn't want to be there and who feels like Martinez and chairman Bill Kenwright have stood in his way to win trophies. Everton miss out on a fortune and will probably still finish seventh - at best.


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