There were whispers this morning that Blackburn’s Phil Jones had signed for Manchester United for £18m. With it previously looking as though Liverpool were favourites to sign him, alongside Jordan Henderson who they have valued at £20m, the rumours seemed unlikely. Arsenal were reportedly also keen to sign him.
However Sky Sports have confirmed that he is having a medical with United now.
Some sources have claimed that United will pay £13m for the 19-year-old as well as agree the permanent signing of Mame Biram Diouf, who has been on loan with the club this season, although this has not been confirmed.
Jones is from Preston and made his way up through the ranks at Blackburn after joining them when he was 10-years-old. Despite featuring last season, he has broken in to the first team this year and has attracted the attention of plenty of top clubs. He has represented England at U-19 and U-21 level.
Jones can play in the centre of defence as well as a defensive midfielder. The signing obviously makes you wonder about the long term future of players like Jonny Evans and Wes Brown. I would imagine even Rio might be sweating under the collar the next time he gets injured too, given how impressive Chris Smalling has been during his debut season.
Now Sunderland have the money from the Henderson sale, you can’t imagine it will be too long before Steve Bruce is calling the manager to ask about the possibility of a deal for Evans. However, Evans can play at left back which adds something to his favour.
I can’t imagine that Jones was one of our planned purchases for this summer, however the strong interest from rival clubs has forced our hand. This lad will have surely been on Fergie’s list for the future but, in a very similar situation to the signing of Wayne Rooney, was bought to stop others buying him.
When looking at Smalling and Jones as the long term central defender pairing at the club, it’s not too shabby at all!
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