Newcastle United are reportedly interested in attaining the services of Manchester United outcast Phil Jones on a free transfer.
The defender failed to make an appearance last season as he recovered from surgery following a long-term knee injury.
The centre-half is on £100,000-a-week contract which still has two years left to run. But the Red Devils are keen to let him go this summer and end his deal early, according to 90min.
Jones brought to the club by Sir Alex Ferguson from Blackburn Rovers in 2011. The United hero once backed the England international to be one of the club’s greatest ever players.
Speaking in 2013, Ferguson 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.”
Indeed, the 29-year-old went on to win a Premier League title, an FA Cup and a Europa League.
However, in the last two seasons, Jones has played in just eight competitive matches for United.
The centre-back has been plagued by injury throughout his career. In total, he has missed 204 games for the 20-time English champions.
It means across the whole of his decade-long stay at the club, he has missed on average 20 matches a season through injury.
Newcastle aren’t the only club after his services, though. Everton, West Ham, Crystal Palace and Burnley are also touted as potential suitors.
Brighton and Southampton are also monitoring the situation at Old Trafford.
If he does move on to any of those teams this summer, he will almost certainly have to accept a sizeable pay cut.
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Varane to be nail in coffin
Manchester United are reportedly close to confirming the signing of Real Madrid centre-half Raphael Varane.
His big wage demands will need compensating for elsewhere in the squad, and Jones’ contract looks the most likely to take the hit.
Furthermore, if the Frenchman arrives then Jones would be sixth in the pecking order behind the world cup winner himself, Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly and Axel Tuanzebe.
In addition, 90min says that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would like to bring in another centre-half this summer if possible.
After ten years of service, Jones’ days in Manchester look numbered. He has played 226 games for United during his time at the club, scoring six times and assisting a further ten.