Arsenal is reportedly interested in completing the transfer of Manchester United’s English defender Phil Jones. Jones was thought to be one of the players under threat upon the arrival of Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho but it’s understood that the current Red Devils’ boss has now informed the 24-year-old centre-back that his future lies at Old Trafford.
But according to reports from the Independent Manchester United will not let Phil Jones leave the club this summer after he was linked with a move to Arsenal FC, with former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho determined not to do any transfer business with his arch rival Arsene Wenger.
The Gunners are believed to have enquired about the 24-year-old’s availability as they continue their search for a centre-back following long-term injuries to two senior defenders Per Mertesacker and Gabriel Paulista.
The Evening Standard reports that 24-year-old Jones is being considered by the Gunners as they continue their hunt for a new centre-back, with talks for Valencia defender Shkodran Mustafi reaching a stalemate after Valencia insisted they do not want to sell him.
It remains to be seen whether Arsenal’s 66-year old French boss brings in a new defender to the Emirates stadium before the 2016 summer transfer window officially slams shut on August 31.
Jones has reportedly been told by his 53-year old boss that he does have a future at Old Trafford this season but is unlikely to play week in week out and therefore a move to Arsenal could be tempting, especially given the fact that Wenger has long admired the player, having been outbid by Manchester United when they paid Blackburn Rovers £16.5m to sign him back in 2011. However, Mourinho would not prefer to strengthen Wenger’s squad given the history of animosity between the pair.
Jones, 24, has four years left on his current United deal, including options to extend, and earns in excess of £100,000-a-week which would make his salary a big commitment and out of range for most of the clubs.
Jones last played for United against Swansea City on January 2nd, 2016 and while he had come back to fitness since then he was unable to get back fully into the first team under then manager Louis van Gaal. He is fit now but has struggled for game-time this season, mainly as a consequence of United’s pre-season preparations which did not give Jose Mourinho enough time to give his entire squad a run-out.
At just 24 and being English, Phil Jones is relatively young and comes under the homegrown category but still doesn’t tick all the required boxes needed to help us improve.
However, with just a week remaining in the summer transfer window Wenger might not have many options around him and hence looks set to be forced into making panic buys. We definitely have an anxious seven days coming up. Let us keep hoping for the best.