Everton stand firm on Stones

Everton chairman Bill Kenwright has reiterated that John Stones will not be sold at any price, despite the defender handing in a transfer request.

The 21-year-old has been the subject of great interest from Chelsea, with the Blues making three bids for the centre-back. Stones submitted a formal transfer request on Tuesday, but Everton have officially rejected it.

"Everton Football Club has rejected a transfer request from John Stones," Kenwright said.

"Since the start of the transfer window, we have resolutely turned down offers from another Premier League football club for our player.

"John is not for sale and he will remain a highly-valued member of our first-team squad."

Stones has been ever-present for the Toffees this season, and played all 120 minutes in Wednesday's Capital One Cup victory over Barnsley, despite having submitted a transfer request.

Speaking after the match with the Tykes, Everton boss Roberto Martinez asserted that: "John is a massive part of that and we've got a clear idea that in life and in football money can sometimes not buy everything. This is about values and John is a vital part of our future."

Stones arrived at Goodison Park from Barnsley for £3m in February 2013, and has four years still to run on his current contract after signing an extension in August last year.