Report: Barca scouting Stones

Barcelona reportedly had scouts in attendance at England’s friendly defeat to Spain, to watch Everton defender John Stones.

The Telegraph claims the Catalans were represented in Alicante, but didn’t get to see the centre-back as he was left out and instead played at Wembley on Tuesday in the win over France.

Stones has been a target for Premier League champions Chelsea, Everton turning down a series of offers from the London club and a transfer request from Stones himself, while the newspaper claims Barca’s relationship with Toffees manager Roberto Martinez may be a factor.

Martinez, a Catalan, was loaned Gerard Deulofeu for the 2013-14 season and Barca sold the winger to Everton with a buyback clause this summer.

The manager has before hinted that he believes Stones will play at a higher level than Chelsea, but Everton’s demands regarding the fee could put off Barca.

Chelsea and Manchester United are expected to bid for Stones in January but Everton could again hold out and it’s suggested that Stones is of the opinion he’d be better off staying at Goodison Park until at least the end of the season.

Barca defender Gerard Pique is a known admirer of Stones, having recently named him in a dream XI and commended the former Barnsley player for his technical ability.

Tags everton John Stones