Chelsea are reportedly ready to withdraw from their pursuit of England international defender John Stones, according to the Sunday Express.
The Premier League side, who currently sit ninth in the English top-flight standings following Saturday’s 3-2 defeat to relegation contenders Sunderland at the Stadium of Light, are thought to be rethinking over reigniting their interest in the Everton centre-half this summer.
The 21-year-old, who has eight international caps for the Three Lions and is expected to be named in England’s squad for Euro 2016 this summer in France, has made 38 appearances in all competitions for the Toffees so far this season.
Stones, who arrived at Goodison Park from League One outfit Barnsley back in 2013, is also said to be attracting interest from Premier League rivals Manchester United and Manchester City, plus La Liga giants FC Barcelona this summer.
The Blues launched four bids for the highly-rated defender last summer, all of which Roberto Martinez’s side rejected, with the final offer mounting to £37m.
Now the report suggests that Chelsea are ready to look elsewhere, whilst Everton are hoping any potential sale of Stones before the 2016/17 season will topple the £50m mark.