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Transfer Rumours

Steve Bruce contacts Michael Carrick to ask about Phil Jones ahead of January window – Report

5 months ago
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Newcastle United made an approach to Manchester United about Phil Jones back in September, according to media reports.

That came after a loan deal for Arsenal’s Rob Holding collapsed, as the Gunners decided to keep hold of the centre-back, Holding instead going on to be a regular starter this season for the North London side.

As for Phil Jones, Newcastle’s interest was said to have been halted, at least for the time being, with Manchester United telling them that the defender was still some way off recovering from a knee injury.

With the January transfer window now only three weeks away, it is now reported that Steve Bruce wants to go back in for the 28 year old.

The report from Eurosport says that their information is that Steve Bruce has been in touch with his mate Michael Carrick, to get an update on the situation regarding Phil Jones, particularly his physical condition.

Phil Jones hasn’t played any competitive football since January so would be unlikely to be seen as instantly ready to start for the first team.

However, it seems pretty transparent that Steve Bruce wants to bring in another centre-back

He has let Florian Lejeune go out on loan for the season and has made clear he doesn’t rate Fabian Schar, Bruce obviously preferring no nonsense defenders rather than ones who try to play / bring it out from the back. Phil Jones most definitely falling into that (non-footballing) category of central defenders.

Ciaran Clark has become increasingly injury prone and has only just come back into the team and started the last two Premier League matches in preference to Fabian Schar, though that doesn’t look a long-term plan.

Whilst Paul Dummett, who has generally impressed on the odd occasion when playing centre-back, is still injured and hasn’t played since January.

That leaves only Jamaal Lascelles and Federico Fernandez.

Sir Alex Ferguson signed Phil Jones as a 19 year old in a £16million deal with Blackburn in 2011 and as things stand, Jones is under contract at Old Trafford until summer 2023. However, he looks to have no future at Old Trafford even if getting back to full fitness.

Both Fabian Schar and Ciaran Clark are set to be out of contract in June (2021) and no surprise if one (most likely Schar) or both of them were sold in January to help generate some cash and save on wages, as well as then helping to open up space in the squad for Phil Jones potentially coming in. An initial loan deal until the end of the season to prove his fitness a real possibility, with an arrangement for a permanent move if doing so.

Phil Jones turns 29 in February but you can see him as a Steve Bruce type of player and that age isn’t that old for a centre-back.

Meanwhile, depending on the terms of his loan arrangement, it wouldn’t be a surprise either to see Steve Bruce try and cash in on Florian Lejeune’s impressive loan form for Alaves at the moment and possibly try to sell him in January, if the loan deal allows. The Frenchman appears to have no future at Newcastle under Steve Bruce and at the end of this season would only have one year remaining on his contract.

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