Having lost their preferred managerial candidate to Manchester City, Chelsea are bracing themselves for a second slap in the face from the Citizens.
Top transfer target John Stones is Etihad-bound too, according to reports by The Mail Online.
The Everton defender is alleged to be the man incoming City boss Pep Guardiola wants to sign more than anyone when he takes over from Manuel Pellegrini and will pay up to £45m to get his man.
It’s obviously a blow for the Blues, but crying over spilt milk, it appears, isn’t in their nature.
The same Mail report detailing the Stones setback details how attentions have been averted to Crystal Palace’s Scott Dann, who is a possible £20m target.
Clearly, the west Londoners are desperate for a centre-back with Premier League experience to replace outgoing skipper John Terry and will pay exorbitantly to get one.
Dann may be older than Stones and far less acclaimed, but in spending less than half the amount on the Palace ace than what they would on his Everton equivalent represents another shrewd move from the lauded Chelsea transfer team.
In terms of likeness to Terry, Dann is by far the superior choice and is far better suited to the system which they play.
The former Blackburn man’s set-piece threat is one of the standout examples of this; he has five Premier League goals this campaign, Stones has none.
Similarly, his no-nonsense approach to defending bears some similarities with the Chelsea captain, while coveted defender Stones is often guilty of being too carefree in possession.
The Toffees youngster makes an average of 52.2 passes per match, completing 89.1% of them. Dann’s completion rate is lower, just 76%, but he only attempts a mean of 31.5 passes per outing.
Terry averages 37.8 passes in the Premier League, though his 90% completion rate is a big improvement on Dann’s return.
Stones’ ability in on the ball is, obviously, what Guardiola likes about him, but that is by no means a sign that he is a better defender than his Crystal Palace counterpart, whose less fanciful approach to protecting his goal would render him a far better buy for Chelsea.