Saturday 18 July 2015 08:55, UK
Everton have rejected a £20m bid from Chelsea for John Stones, Sky sources understand.
Stones played 28 times for Everton last term with his only goal of the season coming in the 3-0 home win over Manchester United in April.
The defender has represented England at various youth levels and was named on Roy Hodgson’s standby list for last year’s World Cup in Brazil.
His fine form last season saw him make his full England debut in the 3-0 friendly win over Peru at Wembley Stadium last May.
The 21-year-old's defensive statistics compare favourably to Chelsea centre-backs John Terry and Gary Cahill. Last term, Stones averaged 1.43 tackles, 1.09 blocks and 1.52 interceptions per game - beating the Chelsea duo in all three departments.
Stones was handed Everton’s No 5 shirt earlier this week – a number worn by former stalwart Dave Watson - and the Toffees see him as an integral member of their squad, with his current deal running until August 2019.
The young defender helped Everton reach this weekend's Barclays Asia Trophy final after playing in Thursday’s penalty shoot-out win against Stoke and he expressed his contentment at the club following the game.
He said: "I am very happy at Everton. My aim right now is to try to nail down a regular spot in this Everton team and hopefully that will take care of playing for England.
"I have to keep learning from the likes of Phil Jagielka and keep progressing at this club."
Everton will wear their new away strip for the first time in Saturday's final against Arsenal.
Watch Arsenal v Everton in the Asia Trophy live on Sky Sports 1 at 1.30pm on Saturday.