Newcastle United want to buy Manchester United’s Phil Jones, according to The Mirror.
Jones has not featured in the last seven Manchester United squads and, as reported here on Friday, the defender is now likely to see his opportunities even more limited as Eric Bailly, Axel Tuanzebe and Tim Fosu-Mensah continue their recoveries from long-term injury.
A lot of eyebrows were raised last February when United gave the Preston-born man a new 4-year deal that secures his future until June 2023 with a one-year extension option. His injury record and shaky performances last term meant that most fans felt he should not have been retained by the club.
Much of the widespread condemnation of the deal was based on the false reports that it included a hugely increased £120,000 per week salary, when in fact Jones remains on the same £75,000 per week he was on previously.
The Mirror now claims that Newcastle are prepared to bid £12 million for the 28-year-old, which seems to justify United’s decision to extend the contract and avoid the player leaving on a free transfer.
Jones has played 224 games for the Red Devils and scored six goals since he joined from Blackburn Rovers in 2011 for a similar fee of £16 million.
It is understood that the Red Devils will be willing to allow Jones to leave and it would be an attractive option for the centre back as it will allow him to remain in the Premier League, with Newcastle currently sitting 13th and almost certain to avoid the drop.
If Newcastle can match the player’s salary – which would make him their highest earner – it would be a dignified exit for the likeable Jones, whose career has been ravaged by extensive injury problems and who was once heralded by Sir Alex Ferguson as someone who ‘may be one of the best players we have ever had, not matter where we play him’.