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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Manchester City, Manchester United trying to beat Chelsea to John Stones?

ESPN FC's Dan Thomas and Craig Burley discuss the recent reports that Everton have turned down another Chelsea bid for John Stones.

As always, Transfer Talk has its finger on the pulse when it comes to all the latest rumours and gossip. See all the latest deals here.

TOP STORY: City, United join Chelsea chase for Stones

With sources telling ESPN FC on Wednesday that Chelsea have seen an improved bid of £26 million for John Stones rejected by Everton, the Mirror reports that Manchester City are ready to join the race for the 21-year-old centre-back.

While City would reportedly rather let Stones have another full season...

 By David Mooney

Man City Premier League campaign will hinge on defensive improvement

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini says he expects Raheem Sterling to show he is worth the 49 million pounds the club paid for him, after the forward grabbed another two goals in preseason.

It's understandable that confidence has returned to Manchester City supporters ahead of the 2015-16 season. The disappointments of the previous campaign have been swallowed in a wave of optimism, which began to arrive as the club announced the signings of Raheem Sterling and Fabian Delph.

The former seemed to be the answer to offensive problems encountered in Manuel Pellegrini's poor title defence. The side frequently looked like it couldn't break down opponents, and they had an alarming lack of...

 By Chris Wright

Samuel Eto'o's Russian tutor had no idea who he was at Anzhi

Samuel Eto'o's fame evidently does not extend to teachers.

A British language tutor has confessed to spending months teaching former Real Madrid, Barcelona, Chelsea and Inter Milan star Samuel Eto'o to speak Russian without having a clue who her world-famous student actually was.

Rebecca Prew, a 23-year-old Russian and French student at Leeds University, was hired to help Eto'o get to grips with the language during the Cameroon striker's time at Anzhi Makhachkala in 2012.

She then spent three months teaching him without realising that the man she was home-schooling...

 By Chris Wright

Eric Cantona throws weight behind campaign to save Bath City

As unlikely as it would seem, renowned actor, sociologist and philosopher Eric Cantona (we think he may have dabbled in football at one point, too) has publicly pledged his support to a campaign launched by Bath City fans to save the cash-strapped club.

City, who currently play in the National League South (England's fifth tier), have been on the brink of financial ruin, and as such, their supporters are rallying in an attempt to raise the money required to purchase the club outright, and then run...

 By Nick Miller

Premier League consistency: How does being in Europe affect clubs?

Roberto Martinez's sophomore season at Everton has taken a turn for the worse in 2015.
Everton need to find consistency if they are to improve in the league.

In 2013-14, Roberto Martinez's first season in charge at Goodison Park, Everton came an impressive fifth place in the Premier League, above Tottenham and Manchester United. Last term they came 11th but were closer to the relegation zone than the European spots in terms of points. The challenges facing teams like Everton, West Ham and Southampton -- sides in that 'middle-range' of the top flight -- are significant. How do they maintain more consistent league finishes with the various other problems...

 By Chris Wright

Ballboy takes over as manager of non-league club AFC Fylde

Something tells us that when 11-year-old Daniel Fryer goes back to school in September, his "what I did over the summer holidays" presentation is going to take some beating.

This is because young Daniel spent Wednesday night in charge of his beloved local football team, AFC Fylde of the National League North, and went on to mastermind a respectable 1-1 draw against Championship side Bolton Wanderers.

The youngster regularly turned out as a ballboy for Fylde, so the club decided to reward him for...