Wigan Athletic have made a formal bid for Barnsley fullback John Stones.

The Daily Mail says Wigan have edged ahead of Chelsea, Aston VillaSunderland, Manchester City and Everton in the race for the £3million-rated prospect.

Manager Roberto Martinez believes he has now landed one of his top targets after contacting cash-strapped Barnsley with an offer that looks sure to be accepted.

Stones is one of the most coveted young defenders in the country and is seen as a coup by Martinez, who desperately needs reinforcements at the back after suffering a series of defensive injury setbacks.