Sunderland have joined the battle for Barnsley fullback John Stones.

The Sunday Mirror says the Black Cats have watched the 6ft 2in right- back several times and have been impressed by the talented 18-year-old.

Barnsley have issued a hands-off warning to a host of top clubs following the youngster's progress.

But Sunderland have not been deterred, although they face competition from Chelsea, Everton and ­Manchester City.