Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho insists that he isn’t put off by the significant transfer fee that a ‘small club’ like Everton is asking for John Stones.
The Premier League champions have already seen an initial £20m bid rejected for the defender, although sources have suggested that they will return with an improved offer.
However, Mourinho has conceded that he expects a fight to sign the 21-year-old and has risked further angering his rivals after Roberto Martinez has already criticised the way that they have handled their approach.
“That is the market now,” Mourinho said, as reported by Sky Sports.
“You only pay it if you want to. If you don’t want to pay it, don’t pay. It’s as simple as that. The market has no rules or limits from season to season.
“It’s a good market. That’s why smaller clubs, if they have interesting young English players, they use that in the right way for them.”
Mourinho added that if the big clubs don’t want to go over certain limits, then they have a decision to make in terms of their own transfer budgets.
With Martinez adamant that he will not sell any of his top stars this summer, it remains to be seen whether or not Chelsea continue their pursuit of Stones.