Premier League strugglers Watford were reportedly in contention to sign Manchester United outcast Phil Jones late in January.

According to a report from Football Insider, Watford made a late January move to sign Phil Jones. The Manchester United centre-back was wanted by new coach Roy Hodgson, but the deal did not materialise. Jones was set for a late loan move to Bordeaux instead, but the defender changed his mind at the last minute, remaining at Old Trafford.

A member of the Manchester United setup since 2011, Jones is among the senior members of the team and one of the few players to have played under Sir Alex Ferguson. However, in recent years, the defender has struggled with injuries while emerging as the latest victim of the club’s lavish spending in the transfer market.

The Englishman has fallen behind the likes of Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire and new signing Raphael Varane in the pecking order. As such, he has been able to make only one Premier League appearance this term, while his only other appearance came in the recent FA Cup encounter against Middlesbrough.

Despite his struggles, though, Jones is rated highly by Watford manager Roy Hodgson. The veteran coach knows the defender well from his time with the English national team. He had even utilised the player during the UEFA Euro 2012 and 2014 FIFA World Cup campaigns.

On his way out? (Photo courtesy - Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

On his way out? (Photo courtesy – Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Unfortunately for him, a deadline day move for Jones did not materialise. Even Bordeaux, who were in advanced talks with the 29-year-old, could not sign the player. However, with his contract expiring in 2023, the Englishman is highly likely to leave Old Trafford in the summer as he looks to take the next step in his career.

Jones was not the only Premier League defender linked with a move to Watford in January. The Hornets had reportedly courted Liverpool centre-back Nathaniel Phillips, but their permanent offer was rejected by the Merseyside giants. The player ended up joining AFC Bournemouth on a loan deal.

Fortunately for Watford, they have managed to rope in at least one new defender in January in the form of Samir. The Brazilian centre-back arrived from Udinese on a €5 million deal and is expected to play a key role in helping Watford stave off relegation during the second half of the campaign.

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