Fulham have just had a £1.5 million bid turned down by Barnsley for right back John Stones.
The deal didn’t go through because Fulham were apparently unwilling to let the full back return to his current club on loan for the rest of the season.
The Daily Mail is reporting that Southampton and Wigan are lurking as a result with the Saints having already made formal enquiries about the England Under-19 international.
It would be a massive gamble for any of the Premier League sides because Stones seems to be severely lacking in terms of professional experience. He’s only 18-years-old and has made just over 20 appearances for Barnsley.
So it seems a little bizarre as to why Fulham wouldn’t let him go straight back to Barnsley on loan because he’s hardly likely to walk straight into the first team at Craven Cottage.
Southampton or Wigan both represent great chances for Stones to develop as a player because both clubs have experienced managers with young players.
Luke Shaw is the classic example at Southampton with Chelsea reportedly monitoring the Southampton defender’s future on a daily basis.
Roberto Martinez at Wigan represents a great chance for Stones to accumulate a lot of first team games in the Premier League but again, Martinez may be reluctant to let him go back to Barnsley on loan because he could be used instantly at Wigan.
Fulham presents the obvious chance to move to London for Stones and experience the city as a professional Premier League player. They are also in the best position to give him the best offer financially.
This has to be something he thinks about if he’s going to uproot his life and make a drastic move down South. If this is a pivotal factor then Wigan obviously have the advantage.
Spin the wheel and place your bets because Stones could end up at either three. However, Fulham appear to be in the driving seat because they have made a concrete offer.
If you’re a Fulham, Southampton or Wigan fan, how would you feel about this signing?
image: © Tom Cuppens