Sunderland and Fulham are battling for Barnsley right back John Stones.

Wigan Athletic are also waiting in the wings, says the People.

O'Neill made a ­surprise £2m move for the ­England youth cap and wants him to fill a gap in his squad in the next few days.

The Black Cats' bid has topped Fulham's latest offer of £1.7m, with Martin Jol keen to land the top prospect before the window shuts.

Wigan are waiting until a fee is fixed, with boss Roberto Martinez not willing to pay the £3m ­valuation but interested if the price drops.