Football - Flitcroft keen on Stones return

Barnsley manager David Flitcroft has not ruled out a loan return to Oakwell for Everton's new teenage defender John Stones.

PA Sport

Everton paid the Tykes a reported £3million for the 18-year-old, who signed a five-and-a-half year deal on transfer deadline day.

"It's something we would love to explore for sure," Flitcroft said. "I think there's a chance. But don't forget (Everton manager) David (Moyes) has paid good money for the player and he's part of Everton's toolbox and if he can add to that without under-developing him, David will have that option.

"But certainly, if there is a sniff of a chance - and there are a few clubs who will want Stonesy - I would like to think he would want to come back and finish some unfinished business off.

"I think at the minute David wants to assess him in his squad. It has been difficult this week as Stonesy has been on international duty, but I think over the next three weeks Dave will be able to see where he is at with John in terms of if he is going to feature in his plans and is ready for Premiership football.

"Like the step up from League Two and League One to the Championship, the jump up to the Premier League is an adaptation. Most of that for John will be in the summer."

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