Benfica are keen on signing Phil Jones in January to resolve their defensive issues, as the Manchester United man could be made available for a transfer.

According to the Daily Mail, Manchester United star, Phil Jones is a target for Benfica ahead of the January transfer window as the Portuguese club seek defensive solutions for the second half of their season.

Manchester United’s forgotten man Jones could make news as transfer stories linking the long-serving defender with a move away from Old Trafford emerge. The club’s new boss Ralf Rangnick has hinted at the possibility of some departures in January to bring in a level of balance in the bloated squad.

Jones has not played a senior football game since January 2020, which is almost close to two full years now. Injuries have blighted his once-promising career, although Jones has been involved in a handful of U23 games in a bid to gain fitness.

There’s plenty of interest from clubs across the Premier League and Championship, as Jones could be headed for a departure next month. While clubs may not want to risk making him a permanent signing, considering how little game time he’s had amid persistent injury problems, a loan move may make sense.

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Manchester United could be open to a six-month loan move, as it will help the player get match sharpness and get better offers in the summer. Jones has a contract until 2023, which enables the club to demand a decent transfer fee if he could get some minutes under his belt.

The idea of playing regular football would certainly appeal to Jones and convince him to make the switch. The target would be to get match fit and attract decent, long term offers in the summer window.

Benfica are interested in making a move for the 29-year-old. The Portuguese side, who sit third in their domestic league, are keen to bolster their defensive options and could be tempted by Manchester United’s stars experience.

They have been searching for a versatile defender in the market since regular star Lucas Verissimo suffered a season-ending knee injury. The Brazilian ruptured his cruciate knee ligament against Braga in the league, meaning the club will now have to find a replacement in January.

In recent weeks, Benfica have been linked with Samuel Umtiti, although the Frenchman’s huge salary demands could become a problem. Alternatively, on a loan deal, Jones would make sense for the Portuguese side to plug the gaping hole left by Verissimo’s injury. As for Jones, it could be a good idea to play in Portugal, as time away from the constant pressures of the Premier League could prove beneficial for his long-term career.

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