Everton are interested in signing Bolton Wanderers defender Rob Holding as a replacement for John Stones, according to The Sun.

Stones has been linked with a move away from Everton since last summer and it looks as though he could finally depart at the end of this season, with Chelsea a likely destination.

This would be a big blow to Everton, who signed Stones from Barnsley in 2013, and they would be left searching for a similar style of ball-playing defender to take his place.

Everton scout David Unsworth has reportedly been to watch Holding play for Bolton several times this season, and believes that he could be the man to replace Stones in the Everton team.

Holding, 20, is very comfortable on the ball and has shown class for Bolton this season, during what has been a year to forget for the football club.  The defender also scored his first goal for Bolton this season, notching against MK Dons in January.

Bolton have had many problems this season, including a total transfer embargo and terrible form leaving the club bottom of the league and 12 points from safety.  With the recent takeover of the club and the sacking of manager Neil Lennon, the club may now be looking to build for next season.

Holding looks unlikely to be at Bolton next season however, with his current deal expiring in the summer and many top clubs interested in signing the defender.