After all the international ballyhoo, it’s time for Jose Mourinho to focus his players back on Chelsea’s stuttering league title defence.

The long, bitter, will-he-won’t-he transfer debacle over defender John Stones means, almost inevitably, that the Blues’ next opponents are… Everton.

Chelsea haven’t completely given up on Stones, who did all he could at his end by putting in a transfer request to try to force the hand of the Goodison board.

But realistically another attempt to bring him to Stamford Bridge will have to wait until next summer.

Fans will watch with interest to see how the last-minute replacement buys settle down, with some concern expressed that Senegalese defender Papy Djilobodji – signed from Nantes for £4m – was left out of the Champions League squad because the club had reached their "foreign playe" limit.

Baba, Pedro, Radamel Falcao and Asmir Begovic are all included, with the opening game at home to Maccabi Tel Aviv on Wednesday evening at the Bridge.

It’s a bit of a gamble by Mourinho, who has named nine midfielders, including Bertrand Traore, as European contenders. With only six defenders to pick from, any injuries could leave him stretched.

Mourinho’s once-cordial relations with Toffees’ manager Roberto Martinez have soured over the Stones affair, although both will maintain a professional dignity when they shake hands before the Saturday lunchtime kick-off in Liverpool.

Stones is said to have been targeted by some Everton fans over the on-off transfer saga, with one report saying he had been forced to leave his home for his own safety.

His performance in an England shirt on Tuesday night at Wembley, where he came on as a sub in the 2-0 win, was only average.

Gary Cahill, who played the entire match, was also subdued, but played with a relaxed reassurance.

Cahill is approaching his 30th birthday, while Stones is just 21. We’ll have a chance to compare and contrast this weekend.