Everton chairman Bill Kenwright has insisted that John Stones was "never" going to leave Goodison Park in the summer to join Chelsea.
The Premier League champions publicly pursued the England international by lodging a reported four bids, which were all rejected by the Merseyside outfit.
Despite Stones lodging a transfer request, Everton held firm and managed to keep hold of the 21-year-old, who signed for the club from Barnsley in 2013.
"John Stones is hugely important to this club, of course," Kenwright told The Mirror. "He's the best centre-back in England, surely, and he was never going to leave, never. There was never a moment.
"But don't forget. They said Luke Garbutt was definitely leaving, wouldn't sign a new contract, and James McCarthy. We had that where he was definitely going apparently, it wasn't even a question. Kevin Mirallas, too.
"Yet here we are with the window closed, and they all have new long term deals. They're still here and they want to play for Everton. It's an important point."
Everton have recorded two draws, one victory and one defeat so far in the Premier League this season.