Manchester United slap staggering price-tag on defender Phil Jones after lengthy injury lay-off return
According to the Daily Star, Manchester United have set a price tag of £15m on centre-back Phil Jones for interested clubs to seal the defender’s signature this transfer window.
Jones only recently returned from a lengthy injury lay-off dating back to nearly two years and made an appearance for the Red Devils in the 1-0 defeat against Wolves this month. The 29-year-old back was praised for his performance at Old Trafford, putting in a good shift in his first league appearance in two years.
With 18 months left on his current contract with United and having fallen down the pecking order at Old Trafford, the Red Devils are demanding a transfer fee of £15m for the Englishman.
United’s high valuation for the defender is surprising, given that Jones cost the club £16.5m almost a decade ago when they snapped him up from Blackburn Rovers. Despite the centre-back not having had any first-team action in a couple of years, Burnley and Newcastle United have been linked with him this winter transfer window.
However, United may face certain hiccups in selling Jones to these clubs, with Burnley not interested in matching the player’s transfer fee or his £100,000-a-week salary. Newcastle meanwhile, have different transfer targets in mind to fill other important positions first in January.
What next for Phil Jones?
United have had a quiet January transfer window so far and could struggle to offload Jones this month with his price tag and salary. The club is also finding it hard to satisfy players like Edinson Cavani, Jesse Lingard, Anthony Martial, and Donny van de Beek, who have all been linked with a move away from Old Trafford.
With captain Harry Maguire, Raphael Varane, and Victor Lindelof all ahead of him in our defensive lineup, Jones could look to seal a move elsewhere to gain more first-team minutes. Although he impressed on his return to action after two years out against Wolves earlier this month, it does not look like he could replace any of the other defenders from their positions.
United’s high price tag on Jones’ head is certainly something that can hinder a move, so it may need reconsidering if we have no plans to keep the player beyond the summer. His future at Old Trafford seems bleak given the competition in the squad, and that is considering Eric Bailly is yet to return to the set-up from AFCON.
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He is not a bad fifth-choice defender to have by any means. If Rangnick considers a defence with three centre-backs, he would require the depth that Jones provides given that would provide added pressure on our defensive roster.
A Premier League, Europa League, and FA Cup winner with United, Jones is likely to depart with good memories at the club, despite a torrid injury-stricken run over the past few seasons. That is, of course, if we can find a suitor for him with that hefty tag.