Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho swipes at Everton in John Stones transfer row

José Mourinho has taken a swipe at the Everton manager, Roberto Martínez, as the pursuit of John Stones continues to provoke anger on both sides.

Mourinho, suggesting Martínez is in a “strange world”, remains baffled as to why he has furiously accused Chelsea of acting inappropriately and why he made public the initial bid of £20m that was rejected by Everton.

Mourinho maintains the Premier League champions have dealt with the move for the 21-year-old, which could break the record for an English defender, in the correct manner and he will not relent in his pursuit.

Stones is understood to be keen on a move to Stamford Bridge and a fresh bid – believed to be in the region of £32m – is expected this week.

Mourinho appears frustrated by the saga and was quick to mock Martínez’s stance. “Our strategy for the Premier League is going to change next year,” said the Chelsea manager, who maintains Martínez has not informed him, via a letter, that Stones was not for sale at any price.
“Next year we are going to make the first bid on the 1st of September. On the 1st of September we will do a bid for the season later. Because at this moment, until the 31st of August, it is closed. The market is closed. We are all in a strange world. We are all in a strange world. We think it is open but it is not open. It is closed. So on the 1st of September we are going to make a bid for the next season.”
With Luke Shaw costing £30m following his move from Southampton to Manchester last summer and Raheem Sterling transferring to Manchester City for £49m earlier this month, Mourinho knows the market – especially involving young English talent – is as inflated as ever.

Stones cost £3m two years ago when he was signed from Barnsley yet Mourinho added: ”That is the market. And you only pay it if you want. 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.
“And the only surprise comes that the limits change – and not even the introduction of a few rules [financial fair play] is able to control the market. The market is where it is and it’s up to the clubs to decide yes or no. And I speak just for ourselves. For ourselves there are certain rules.”
The Chelsea manager, who has ruled out a switch for Belgian Axel Witsel, is taking on the New York Red Bulls on Wednesday as his Premier League preparations begin in earnest.

Credit: Guardian Sport