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Coral’s rumour reel: Manchester clubs to challenge Chelsea for Stones?

Chelsea (8/1 with Coral to win the Champions League) are finally making waves in the transfer window, and will reportedly continue to test Everton’s resolve by upping their bid to £26m for young England centre back John Stones.

However, the Toffees are tipped to be holding out for what would be a record British fee for a defender, which is currently a whopping £31.9m after Eliaquim Mangala swapped Porto for Manchester City last summer.

Jose Mourinho’s men may also face competition from rivals Manchester City and Manchester United, who are said to be ready to weigh-in on the transfer tussle, though Everton are clinging tightly to their highly-rated centre half, with Stones mooted as a future club captain.

Soccer - UEFA European Under-21 Championship - Group B - England v Italy - Ander Stadium

In more Man Utd (20/1 to win the Champions League) news, Louis van Gaal may also be plotting to compete with protege Mourinho for Barcelona forward Pedro Rodriguez. The Spain striker has already been linked with a host of Premier League clubs including the Blues, and for a rumoured price of £22m could be a cheap solution to United’s dearth of dangermen following Robin van Persie’s Old Trafford exit.

Meanwhile, the latest rumour surrounding Man Utd stopper David de Gea is last the Northwest giants would rather keep their custodian for another term and see the Spaniard leave on a free next summer, than give in to the circling Real Madrid.

Regardless, Van Gaal is expected to keep compatriot and Ajax post protector Jasper Cillessen on his radar, with the Dutch outfit’s coach Frank de Boer stating: “we want to keep him. He also wants to stay but if Manchester United come with a bid of a lot of money it will be difficult. We just have to wait.”

As for Cillessen himself, the Netherlands number one certainly seems interested in a switch and said: “I asked Memphis Depay if he had heard anything but he didn’t know anything either. It would be a great step but I am happy at Ajax.”

Soccer - Dutch Eredivisie - Ajax Amsterdam v SC Cambuur Leeuwarden - Amsterdam Arena

Elsewhere in England, Premier League new boys Bournemouth may make it a family reunion by partnering current Fulham and former Tottenham midfielder Scott Parker with brother-in-law Harry Arter, as the Cherries continue to target experience.

Finally, on the continent, reportedly unhappy Bayern Munich playmaker Mario Gotze could depart the Allianz Arena, with Serie A champions Juventus said to be trailing the Germany star as they continue their search for a top draw attacking midfielder and could exchange Arturo Vidal for him.