Barcelona have reportedly shown interest in Everton defender John Stones.

The Catalan powerhouse is preparing to pursue their interest in the young England international John Stones. With Barcelona scanning for potential targets in Europe and Marquinhos apparently expressing his desire to stay in France for the time being, Stones has emerged as a strong favorite for Barcelona.

The reigning Spanish champions are to table a bid in the range of £25 million for the 22-year-old England international. However, the current evaluation of Stones is put out at £45 million by Everton, who understand there are multiple clubs all across Europe vying for his signature.

Everton FC vs Arsenal FC

John Stones, last summer, was heavily linked with Chelsea as they tabled several bids upwards of  £30 million. But ultimately, it was deemed insufficient by Everton which left Jose Mourinho, the then Chelsea manager, frustrated as the chinks in the defence of the former champions were clearly visible as their season went on from bad to worse, ultimately culminating in a disappointing 9th place finish.

The John Stones deal could potentially be delayed until after the European Championships culminate in France as there are many factors which could determine where he plays his football next season. The problem of the vacant manager slot is another issue which is crucial to the sale of Stones. The Everton hierarchy would want a manager appointed at the helm and let him have a word with the England defender before he makes up his mind on leaving.

Stones cut from the same cloth as Barcelona beckons

Flags at half mast at the Camp Nou

With Javier Mascherano set to leave the Spanish champions for Juventus, Barcelona now are faced with a task to fill a big hole in the heart of their defence, which will be crucial if they are to continue their domination in Spain. Many experts have also predicted that the ball-playing ability of Stones will be suitable to Barcelona as they like to start their attacks from the back.