Three Premier League clubs are interested in signing veteran Manchester United defender Phil Jones, according to a report from Spain.
Jones has endured a difficult few years at Old Trafford, with injuries and erratic performances stunting what promised to be an illustrious career when Sir Alex Ferguson bought him from Blackburn Rovers 11 years ago.
For the first two years, the England man impressed. After winning the 2013 title, Sir Alex famously said “Jones, arguably the way he is looking, could be our best ever player.
“I think Jones may be one of the best players we have ever had, no matter where we play him.
“At 21 years of age, he is going to be a phenomenal player. I think he can play anywhere on the pitch. He has such a massive influence, with his instinct and reading of the game.” (source: The MEN).
Sadly, though, the great man’s prediction did not come true. Jones’ injury record, according to Transfermarkt, shows that he has missed 217 matches during his United career, but in truth, with rehabilitation time, it has probably been significantly more.
Despite this, Jones was inexplicably given a four year contract extension in 2019 with an optional extra year, making it difficult for United to move the player on.
However, Spanish outlet Marca reports that three Premier League clubs, Southampton, Leeds United and newly promoted Fulham, are all now interested in signing the player.
Jones commands a salary of £75,000, which would be difficult for any of those clubs to match.
Leeds’ top earner is Raphinha on £63,000, Southampton’s is Theo Walcott on £75,000 and Fulham’s is Jean Michael Seri on £65,000 (source for all salaries: Spotrac.com)
With Jones’ market value according to Transfermarkt down at a lowly £2.5 million, a loan looks a far more realistic option, with United potentially paying part of the 30-year-old’s wages.
The Preston man could then hope to prove his worth so he can get a decent contract at his loan club, or elsewhere, when his United contract expires in a year’s time.