After spending months wrestling with Chelsea and their inexhaustible pool of money, Everton look to have been successful in their bid to keep John Stones.
The Premier League champions had three bids rejected for the England youngster, the latest believed to be in the region of £30m, despite the player trying to force the move through with a transfer request.
Having allowed centre-backs Sylvain Distin and Antolin Alcaraz to leave Goodison Park this summer, Roberto Martinez was staunch in his refusal to further weaken his backline.
Not only has the Spaniard seemingly achieved this aim, he has actually added to his ranks on transfer deadline day, drafting in Argentine stopper Ramiro Funes Mori.
Signed from River Plate, the 24-year-old cost a reported £9.5m, which represents a sizeable outlay for a team as frugal as Everton tend to be.
Does this mean then, that after fighting off Chelsea’s overtures for Stones, the Toffees will relegate the Yorkshireman to the bench in favour of Funes Mori?
The bwin odds gurus reckon there’s a possibility, going as short as 17/20 about the Argentinian starting 23 matches or more this season.
With the same price saying he makes the XI on 22 instances or fewer, it’s expected that he features regularly for the Merseysiders.
Stones is clearly unsettled at Everton and, having attempted to exert the special power players in demand possess, but failed to achieve the desired result, questions over his commitment and attitude are bound to circulate.
For this display of dissent, coupled with the sizeable sum splurged to sign Funes Mori, the 21-year-old could well find himself warming the Everton bench in the aftermath of missing out on his dream move to Chelsea.