If rumours making the rounds is anything to go by, then Chelsea are set to make a last minute U-turn in the pursuit of Everton’s centre back John Stones after club’s chairman Bill Kenwrigh confirmed that the young starlet is not for sale this summer.
According to reports from Daily Mail, the EPL defending champions Chelsea have enter the race to sign Chinese defender Zhang Linpeng from Guangzhou Evergrande after failing to secure the services of Stones.
The 26-year old star moved to Evergrande in 2010 and he helped them win the prestigious AFC Champions League in 2013. He has also won 44 caps for the China national team.
Speaking to China media house Titan, the defender said:
“I’m very happy and very excited to finally have this formal invitation,”
“I’ve worked hard and waited these five or six years for my dream of playing overseas, and finally have recognition from the English Premier League.”
However, should Chelsea complete this deal, the 26-year old star won’t be able to feature for The Blues senior team this season due to problem of work permit as only players who represent a country in the top 50 of the FIFA Ranking are considered for an automatic work permit, and China are ranked 79th.
“Although I’m unable to play Premier League directly, I believe [Chelsea] will have the most professional arrangements regarding my permit,” he added. “I have no worries at all about the negotiations.”
This invariably means that the versatile defender who can play both at the full-back and in the centre of defence will be sent out on loan pending when Chelsea will be able to secure him work permit.