Fraught Everton fans are one more sleepless night nearer to the close of the transfer window with John Stones still on their books, but tired Toffees won’t be able to rest until the September 1st deadline passes and the England man remains a part of the Goodison Park furniture.
Chelsea have had three bids rejected for the Yorkshireman, the latest believed to be in the region of £30m, and the player himself has requested to leave the club in order to force through a Stamford Bridge switch.
Roberto Martinez has bullishly refused to sell the defender thus far and plans to carry on turning down approaches.
But the overriding fear amongst fans is the power wielded by players and the enormous sums of money involved will, in fact, result in Stones leaving the club.
From a supporters’ perspective, it’s hard to focus on the positives when a bigger fish swallows a star player, but there is a silver lining that says Everton may actually be better off without the 21-year-old…and it isn’t the outrageous cash injection they’ll receive.
The Toffees have lost key men on several occasions in the past, though three of their most noteworthy sales have actually led to an improvement in their league placing.
Wayne Rooney left the club to join Manchester United in a £27m move the season after the Merseysiders finished 17th.
With the coffers boosted to an enormous extent, David Moyes was able to mould together a squad capable of finishing in an unimaginable fourth the following year.
In 2012/13, Everton allowed their most exciting youngster at the time, Jack Rodwell, to leave when Manchester City stumped up £12m for him.
This preceded the club climbing from seventh in 2011/12 to sixth in 2012/13.
Marouane Fellaini is the final player of the trio, who left for Man Utd in a £27.5m move a few weeks after Martinez took command.
The Belgian’s final season at Goodison saw the club land yet another sixth-place, but the campaign after their talisman’s departure saw them climb one rung on the ladder to fifth.
Joleon Lescott is the only blockbuster departure in recent years whose sale has actually prompted a drop in league placing, with the club finishing seventh from fifth in the aftermath of his £22m move to Manchester City.
Though with Everton finishing 11th last time around, it’s hard to see them faring worse in 2015/16.
They’re 7/2 to finish in the top six.