Phil Jones could leave Manchester United in the January transfer window as he seeks to return to fitness following knee surgery.
Jones has been out of action since the 22nd January, when he was part of the United side that succumbed to an embarrassing 2-0 home defeat to Burnley.
And it is Burnley that is reported to be the biggest club interested in signing the Preston-born man in January as a potential replacement for the in-demand James Tarkowski, who has been linked both with Liverpool and West Ham.
But according to The Daily Star, ‘West Ham remain keen to sign the £40 million-rated Tarkowski but should a £200 million takeover at Burnley by Egyptian businessman Mohamed El Kashany and lawyer Chris Farnell go through, they will no longer have to sell.
‘That would leave Jones in limbo and clear the way for Championship strugglers Derby and Middlesbrough to make a move for the versatile ex-Blackburn star.’
There is a huge obstacle to be overcome if a move to any of these clubs were to become permanent, and that is matching Jones’s United salary.
The 28-year-old’s current contract pays him £75,000 per week and runs until 2023 as he was somewhat inexplicably given a four-year extension in February 2019.
Tarkowski, by contrast, earns only £50,000 at Burnley. Middlesbrough and Derby are even more unlikely to be able to match a salary of that order.
The more likely outcome is therefore a loan move with United continuing to pay a large part of Jones’ salary.
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