Chelsea are due to return to Everton with a £26m offer for John Stones within 48 hours, after being rebuffed with an initial offering of £20m, according to the Mirror.
However, the paper suggest that the Goodison Park bean counters are holding out for £34m, a fee which would eclipse the current record for a British defender.
Stones is currently 17/20 to be Chelsea player by the close of the current transfer window, while it’s the same price he remains a Toffee into the winter months at the very least.
The Stamford Bridge side are reportedly keen not to be ‘held to ransom’ for the 21-year-old.
Yet the three transfers below suggest that they should expect to be paying the Everton asking price, or even more for that matter.
Luke Shaw – Southampton to Man Utd – £30m – summer 2014
The most contemporaneous big-money deal for an English defender offers a fair guide as to the fact that Chelsea should definitely be paying £30m-plus for Stones.
Two seasons as a Premier League regular preceded his move to Old Trafford, while like the Evertonian he had also made his England debut before the move.
Joleon Lescott – Everton to Manchester City – £22m – summer 2009
At the time the £22m fee was regarded as testament to the Toffees ability to squeeze every last penny out any big club determined enough to whisk away their stars.
Lescott was at 27, so lacked quite the same potential for improvement as Stones, nonetheless he went on to play a big part in City’s 2011/12 league title win.
If home-grown player rules had existed at the time, the Goodison Park negotiators would doubtless have been able to milk the Mancunians for far more.
Rio Ferdinand – Leeds United to Manchester United – £30m – summer 2002
Were a 21-year-old Ferdinand on the market today it’s hard to imagine that he could be bought for any less than £40m.
Just as the recently-retired maestro was the most promising young English centre-half around at the time, Stones is now.
Back then, the likes of Ledley King, Sol Campbell and John Terry were on the scene, but it can be argued that the Everton man exists in a time of relative poverty for Three Lions-eligible central defenders.
More than a decade later, a rarer commodity in a landscape where English players command even more of a premium, few could chide the Toffees if they were to demand closer to £40m for a player less than 12 months into a five-year deal.