Noel Whelan has urged Everton to keep a hold of “fantastic” Mason Holgate this summer even if Manchester City offer a swap deal including John Stones.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, the former Leeds United striker suggested the Toffees buy Stones, 26, outright as Holgate, 23, is integral to Carlo Ancelotti’s side.

Holgate signed a new long-term deal at Goodison Park in March that has tied him down to the club until June 2025.

Football Insider revealed earlier this week that Manchester City are interested in the English defender and may offer Stones in part exchange with the England international surplus to requirements at the Eithad.

Holgate has made 29 appearances for the Toffees this season and has started both games of the Premier League return and helped Carlo Ancelotti’s side keep two clean sheets.

When asked by Football Insider if a swap deal was worth considering, Whelan said:

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“Holgate has just signed a new contract so to me, that says that Carlo Ancelotti wants him and he is a big part of his plans.

“I very much doubt that Everton need to swap. They have the resources and the money to buy John Stones if need be.

“Holgate is a young player – why would you do that? Keep Holgate and if you can afford to buy Stones as well you go and do that. To have two good, English centre-halves would be invaluable.

“I would rather not see a swap. Everton need to keep Holgate. He has had a fantastic season at Goodison hence why he has been handed a brand new contract. The manager trusts him.”

In other Everton news, Danny Mills has told Football Insider that multiple players ‘had issues’ with Marco Silva.

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