Manchester United’s forgotten man, Phil Jones, is reported to have asked to play for the U-23s in a bid to step up his return to regular football.
The injury-plagued centre-back hasn’t tasted first team action since an FA Cup tie against Tranmere back in January ’20.
According to The Sun, Jones has impressed new boss Ralf Rangnick in training and is keen to make the vital next step in his prolonged rehabilitation.
The 29-year-old is said to see an upcoming youth fixture as the perfect opportunity to remind any potentially interested clubs of his ability before the January transfer window opens.
Rangnick is thought to have been so impressed by the defender’s application in training that he would have liked to include him in the recent CL match against Young Boys.
However, as United hadn’t registered Jones for European action he wasn’t eligible to take part in the dead rubber draw with the Swiss side.
The Reds’ U-23s take on Chelsea this Friday in their final game before the winter break – and the former Blackburn star is chomping at the bit to be involved.
Coincidentally, Jones’ first inclusion in a first team squad for a league game after his long hiatus also happened to be be against the Blues back in November.
Astonishing, that was the unlucky defender’s first PL squad place in a remarkable 650 days.
Reportedly, this isn’t the first time Jones has gone above and beyond in his hunger to fight his way back into the Old Trafford reckoning.
He’s said to have been so desperate to regain match fitness that he even drove himself to an U23 game back in September.
Should a transfer become a possibility, it’s believed that the plucky outcast won’t be short of offers, with a whopping 13 clubs being touted as likely destinations.