GOD loves a trier - but Barnsley boss David Flitcroft was trying the boundaries of footballing opportunism when he floated the possibility of John Stones returning to the Tykes on loan for the remainder of the season this week.

The 18-year-old defender was back in South Yorkshire to say a proper farewell to his former team-mates on Thursday, with the ink barely dry on his contract with the Toffees - when Flitcroft was speculating to local radio reporters that the defender might perhaps return to the Championship until May.

Either someone had mistakenly given him the impression that Everton are a soft touch, or Flitcroft was day-dreaming on air.

With David Moyes having invested £3m on the England U-19 international right back, and with Seamus Coleman and Tony Hibbert no closer to full fitness, Flitcroft had no chance.