Ronald Koeman is hoping to bolster his defence after Stones left for Manchester City earlier this week with Swansea City captain Ashley Williams and Sunderland defender Lamine Kone his preferred options.
Koeman stepping up his recruitment drive
After a relatively quiet transfer window for Everton so far, with goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg signing from Fulham and defensive midfielder Idrissa Gueye joining for £7.1million from Aston Villa, Ronald Koeman appears to be stepping up his recruitment drive ahead of the beginning of the Premier League season on Saturday.
Ashley Williams looks set to start the season as an Everton player with Swansea accepting an improved offer by Ronald Koeman's side after an initial £10million bid was rejected. The Swansea captain is understood to be undergoing a medical at the club's training complex before completing the formalities ahead of his move to Merseyside.
As Koeman looks to rebuild his defence following the departure of John Stones, the Blues are believed to be chasing Lamine Kone from Sunderland but they will have to pay at least £18million to sign the defender from the Black Cats who are now managed by former Blues boss David Moyes.
Everton are also believed to be closing in on signing Crystal Palace winger Yannick Bolasie, but a fee has still yet to be agreed. The Blues have had an £18million bid rejected with Palace holding out for £25million for the DR Congo winger.
Blues looking to strengthen at both ends of the pitch
The defence was always going to be an area that Koeman was going to improve over the summer after the Toffees conceded 55 goals in 38 league games last season (only the bottom five clubs conceded more goals), especially following the departure of John Stones.
Ashley Williams is a very experienced defender having made over 300 appearances for Swansea since moving to the Liberty Stadium in 2008. He has been one of the Premier League's most consistent defenders over recent seasons and he impressed for Wales at this summer's European Championships.
Lamine Kone played a key role in Sunderland escaping relegation last season after joining the Black Cats in January for £5million from French side Lorient and he scored twice in their 3-0 victory over Everton in the penultimate game of the season.
At the other end of the pitch, Yannick Bolasie will add another dimension to the Blues attack through his pace, ability to run at players and his technical ability. He has developed a reputation as a Premier League proven attacker despite only scoring nine goals in 89 appearances for the Eagles in the top-flight.