Steven Naismith hopeful John Stones will stay at Everton

Image: John Stones has been the subject of three failed bids from Chelsea

Steven Naismith insists Everton are looking to the future with England defender John Stones still part of their team.

Sky sources understand Everton have rejected a third bid from Chelsea of £30m for the 21-year-old.

Previous offers of £20m and £25m were also thrown out but Jose Mourinho has continued his pursuit of the former Barnsley player regardless.

Naismith, however, is optimistic Stones will remain on Merseyside after Roberto Martinez stressed his prize asset was not for sale.

The Scotland international said: "We definitely want him to stay – he is a fantastic guy and footballer and a mainstay in our team.

"You want your best players to be here to hopefully continue bringing success to Everton. He has progressed rapidly in the last two years.

(Roberto Martinez) has mentioned wanting to bring in three more players in to strengthen and I don't think anyone has ever thought about Stonesey moving on.
Steven Naismith

"We want him to continue that under the leadership of the manager and also (Stones' Everton captain and fellow England centre-back) Phil Jagielka.

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"I'm sure Stonesey would be the first to say he learns so much from him on a day-to-day basis. I think the club's stance on it has been pretty straightforward.

"The manager is looking forward with Stonesey in the team. He has mentioned wanting to bring in three more players in to strengthen and I don't think anyone has ever thought about Stonesey moving on."

Troy Deeney of Watford and John Stones of Everton compete for the ball in the first game of the season
Image: Troy Deeney of Watford (middle) and John Stones of Everton (right) compete for the ball in the first game of the season

Martinez conceded earlier this month that Stones had been affected by Chelsea's interest but then praised his focus in Everton's 2-2 draw with Watford on the opening day of the season.

Naismith has acknowledged his team-mate's approach and added: "John has gone about his business day-to-day in training in such a professional manner.

"He has then taken that into the games, because he has been one of the stronger performers in the team since the start of the season."

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