Manchester United’s surprise transfer deal of the summer came when we paid £16m for Blackburn’s Phil Jones. With plenty of other clubs circling, Sir Alex Ferguson decided now was the time to buy him, even if the original plan was probably to wait another year or two.

Ferguson has revealed that United have been watching Jones since he was in Blackburn’s youth team, before Sam Allardyce gave him his first team debut.

“Big Sam said we stole him,” said Ferguson. “I was ahead of the game and recognised Phil when he played against us in Blackburn’s youth team a couple of years ago and was absolutely magnificent. I spoke to Sam the next day and he just laughed and said he was putting him in the first team.”




------------
The RoM Manchester United 2022-23 season preview is now available for just £6. It includes exclusive interviews with Patrice Evra and Kleberson, articles from the country's best football writers about our expectations for the season ahead and our brightest talents, as well as proposed transfer business and which youth players to keep an eye out for. All profit goes to Trafford Macmillan so please support this fantastic cause.