Ross Barkley posts poignant Instagram message after John Stones exit

By Joe Nelson

Ross Barkley has taken to Instagram to reveal he is “gutted” that John Stones has quit Everton for Manchester City.

The Goodison midfielder revealed how much he is going to miss his good friend and fellow England international following Stones’ £47.5million transfer to City on Tuesday morning.

Barkley said on social media site Instagram: “Gutted to see my mate leave today, going to miss him around the place and on the pitch. All the best lad.”

The 22-year-old midfielder has been with The Toffees all his career and befriended Stones, who is the same age, after his arrival from Barnsley in 2013.

Stones has completed a £47.5million transfer to the Etihad Stadium that demolished Everton’s transfer record and ends hi three-year spell at the club.

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By contrast, Barkley is an Everton academy graduate and has closer ties to the club that he is contracted to until June 2018.

Barkley has appeared 22 times for England, finding the back of the net on two occasions and will be looking for a big season ahead under new boss Ronald Koeman as he looks to solidify his place in England’s starling line-up.

Stones on the other hand has made just 10 appearances for the national side, but will now be working under Pep Guardiola, whose faith in youth may be the key to unlocking the potential of this bright young centre back for both Manchester City and England.

Stones moves to Manchester City on a six-year deal, as confirmed on the Sky Sports website.

In other Everton news: the club will hold talks over a striker deal this week.