Burnley Under-23s coach Steve Stone has been told to stay away from the club amid an investigation into bullying claims.

Stone has been head of the Clarets' youth side since 2018, overseeing the emergence of talents such as Dwight McNeil.

But the former England international has not been in the technical area for the development squad's last three matches, including their 1-1 draw against ​Leeds.

According to ​the Mail, this is due to a probe into claims of bullying by the youth coach.

It is understood that Stone has not been officially suspended, but that he has been asked to stay away from the club while the investigation is ongoing. ​Burnley have declined to comment on the matter.

The 48 year-old was previous job was as assistant to Peter Beardsley at the Newcastle United reserve team.

John Carver,Steve Stone,Peter Beardsley

Former Liverpool winger Beardsley was suspended from all football-related activity last month after being found guilty of racially abusing his players by the FA. However, it is thought that the claims against former Portsmouth midfielder Stone do not pertain to racial abuse.

Stone's Under-23 side have been in good form this season, and are unbeaten in their last 13 matches.

He is said to have a good relationship with Clarets' manager Sean Dyche, after the two came through the ranks together at Nottingham Forrest.

Sean Dyche

Stone joins former Newcastle and Wales winger Craig Bellamy on the list of high-profile youth coaches to have been accused of bullying in recent times.

Bellamy, who is now working as the Under-21 team manager at Anderlecht, apologised to the players and parents of academy players who accused him of bullying during his stint with Cardiff City's youth team.

It is unknown when or even if Stone will return to the technical area with the Burnley's youngsters, but in the meantime they will face Sheffield Wednesday Under-23s in the Professional Development League on Monday.