Graeme Bailey at 90min.com in is reporting that Man. United are prepared to let Phil Jones leave for free if he can find a new club – despite the fact he has over two years to run on his current contract.
That contract is believed to earn him around £100,000 per week, however Bailey – a former Sky Sports reporter – claims that Steve Bruce is a ‘confirmed fan’ of the 29-year-old, stating that the NUFC boss is ‘convinced’ the centre back ‘still has a lot to offer.’
With Man. United about to sign Varane and Jones not playing a single minute of Premier League football since Jan 2020, it’s easy to see why he’s surplus to requirements.
When Jones arrived at Old Trafford back in 2011 he was hailed as he next great English Centre Half. He has actually play 27 times for England, the last of his caps coming in 2018, but he has never fulfilled the promise and potential that persuade Man. United to pay over £16m for him ten years ago. A huge amount of money at the time.
Fast forward ten seasons and Jones has only played 165 Premier League games – partly through injury, lack of Manager’s faith and some poor form. Not exactly a fantastic return and one that belies what was thought of him when he left Blackburn.
However, it is known that Bruce is a fan and that we are searching for another centre back on an extremely restricted budget.
Given that, the fact that he’s not going to cost a penny in transfer fees, would presumably drop his weekly wage for regular football and Bruce’s Man. United connection, it appears that NUFC could be a welcoming opportunity for Jones.
Personally, I hope not! I really don’t think he’d be the answer. We’re already one-paced and old at the back, so we’d be getting more of the same if we got tempted by his availability. However, given what I said in the previous paragraph I just fear we might be with our transfer budget so low!
It would fulfil Bruce’s requirement for a CB and at the sort of price even we could afford but seriously, is he any better than we already have? I think not and I’d be very hesitant in bringing in a player that only averages a shade over 16 games a season.
After being linked with a move for the far more athletic, fit and hungry Axel Tuanzebe (also at Man. United) just yesterday, a free agent move for Jones would be a big mistake and lazy piece of business in my book.