Barcelona join Chelsea and Manchester United in race for Everton defender John Stones – report

by Ben Topliss

Barcelona have joined Chelsea and Manchester United in the race for Everton defender John Stones, according to the Telegraph.

Barcelona scouts were sent to watch Stones play for England in their friendly against Spain last week, although the youngster did not feature in the game.

He did play against France on Tuesday night, however, and his performance will no doubt make sure the Spanish club continue to monitor his progress. In addition, Barcelona’s Gerard Pique named Stones in his World XI recently in what could be seen as a charm offensive.

Chelsea had a £30m offer for Stones rejected by Everton in the summer, while Man United are said to be keeping tabs on the situation but Everton standing firm on their valuation shows they won’t sell the youngster unless it’s on their terms.

Chris Smalling‘s transformation into one of the best defenders in the Premier League has been a huge bonus this season but United fans are under no illusion that we still need one top class centre-back to partner him.

Stones is an excellent prospect and he will no doubt be England’s first-choice centre-back for years to come. With Smalling looking like the real deal, him and Stones could establish a frightening partnership for both club and country.

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