Manchester United defender Phil Jones has emerged as a surprise transfer target for the Premier League trio of Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur.
Since joining Manchester United from Blackburn in 2011, defender Phil Jones has failed to establish himself as a regular in the Red Devils setup. Despite having impressed in his first two seasons at Old Trafford, injury worries have prevented the English defender from taking his game up to the next the level.
Last season, under Louis van Gaal, Daley Blind and Chris Smalling were the preferred centre-back pairing. Marcos Rojo, who played most of his games as a left-back, was also deployed as a centre half in the absence of Blind and Smalling.
Jones made only a meagre six Premier League starts for United last season before he was ruled out for several months due to a calf injury. Even in the games he featured, he looked haggard and shaky on the ball and made a number of fatal errors inside his own half.
Still only 24, there is plenty of potential left in the United defender and if he manages to maintain fitness, he can turn into one of the better centre halves the country has at its disposal. Also, if given the opportunity to clock regular playing minutes, Jones regain the form that saw Sir Alex Ferguson shell out a reported £16 million for him.
According to Matt Barlow of Mail Online, Premier League heavyweights Chelsea, Arsenal and Spurs are looking to sign the Manchester United outcast. Jose Mourinho, however, does not want to strengthen his fellow title contenders, and has turned down an offer made by them.
Chelsea have been in desperate need of a centre-back and have eyed Jones as a viable candidate in Antonio Conte’s side. With John Terry nearing retirement, Gary Cahill under performing and Kurt Zouma out injured, Jones could step into the first team squad at Stamford Bridge.
Spurs had a solid 2015/16 season where they shipped in the joint-fewest goals. Alberweireld and Vertonghen were outstanding throughout the course of the campaign, but are not at their potent best this time around.
Arsenal, on the other hand, have recently signed Shkodran Mustafi, so an interest in Jones would see him being an understudy to the current centre-backs.
Koscielny and Holding have been impressive and with Mustafi’s arrival, it seems Jones would be fifth in the pecking order at Arsenal after Mertesacker recovers from an injury.