£40 million for a 21-year-old might seem a little steep to some people, but that is the price being quoted by Chelsea to get the signature of one of the hottest properties in English football, John Stones. Call it a masterstroke by Everton to price up their English talent, a move out of desperation by Chelsea or just the inflated prices that continue to grow in the Premier League, Stones moving to Chelsea might not be a done deal as of yet but it is pretty close.
The English defender is being asked to stay at Everton for the sake of his career, playing regularly for a Premier League club is important for his growth but moving to Chelsea and having the chance to win a greater number of trophies with the Blues might be a proposition that many cannot reject. Chelsea could still have their bid rejected, like it has been so far in the transfer window by Everton, we do some of their scouting and provide them some options for the centre-back role they so desperately need to fix.
Athletic Bilbao has a history of producing top talent only from the Basque region in Europe and Manchester United target Aymeric Laporte is one such talent who seems to be getting better as the games go buy. The French defender has great technical ability and has great ball control as well. The fact that he can play the long balls makes him a versatile defender and he has the ability to perform great tackles as well. He wouldn’t come on the cheap from Bilbao, but Chelsea could do far worse than signing the talented defender.
Monaco was one of the surprise performers in Ligue 1 last season and their third place finish in the league was greatly achieved thanks to a stellar defence. The club conceded just 26 goals last season in the league and kept 20 clean sheets. Abdennour played a massive role in that, the 26-year-old Tunisian is a tough tackling and robust defender, who often goes out of his way to winning tackles. He could be the perfect option for Chelsea unless Chelsea only want to buy English.
A horrible injury last season ended Musacchio’s great run of form for Villareal, but the injury in April has meant that he hasn’t kicked a ball on the pitch yet. Musacchio was one of the best defenders in La Liga last season and provided great cover to the Villareal defence. He still is recuperating from his injury and if his therapy and training go in the right direction, he could get back to the heights that he achieved at Villareal. Chelsea might not even have to pay a lot for the defender, but it would be a huge risk trying to sign him.