Andy Gray has told talkSPORT that Everton will find it difficult to keep John Stones beyond this season.

Gray: “John Stones now is at an age where his star is in the ascendancy. He is right up there.

“He is highly thought of, not only in this country but globally and, trust me, teams like Barcelona and Real Madrid will know all about John Stones and his abilities as a centre-back.

“He is still learning but Everton have got it all on to keep him. I hate saying this because as an Evertonian I will get hung for it, but it is going to be difficult to keep hold of him.

“If I’m Manchester City, I’m saying: ‘who is the best young British centre-back right now?’ By a country mile, for me, it is John Stones, so why wouldn’t any club be interested?

“If Everton can’t give him Champions League football, which looks unlikely this year, then they are going to have great difficulty hanging on to John Stones sadly.”

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