Long-term absentee Phil Jones is back in training for Manchester United, but what happens next is shrouded in doubt.
Jones has not played for the Red Devils since January 2020 and has been blighted by a series of injuries that have seen him play only eight games since the 2018/19 season.
His latest setback, a knee injury, kept him out for the whole of last season but he is now fit again and has joined the squad at their summer training camp in Scotland.
— Bruno Fernandes (@B_Fernandes8) August 2, 2021
‘[Jones] is due to start training over the weekend when we’ve got everyone in on Monday, which is a big plus for him.
‘I’ve had similar troubles in my career. He’s such a professional, good lad, and it’s great to see him ready to train again and hopefully he can first of all train with us and then hopefully get game time soon.’
However, reports suggest that Solskjaer would ideally like to offload the former England man.
That, however, is acknowledged to be very difficult given his lack of football over the past two years and his woeful injury record.
United are believed to be willing to offer Jones a free transfer but even then, the buying club would need to match his £75,000 per week salary – which is not a fortune, but would represent a gamble.
‘Jones first fell out of favour under Solskjaer as Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire stamped their authorities as first-choice centre-halves, while Eric Bailly and Axel Tuanzebe are the back-up options in that position,’ The Mail notes.
‘That competition means Jones is likely to seek a move away from Old Trafford this summer, with reports linking West Ham with a move for the defender on a free transfer.
‘The move would see Jones reunite with Hammers boss David Moyes, who worked with the centre-back during his brief spell as Red Devils boss between the summer of 2013 and April 2014.’