Allardyce backs Jones to succeed
Former Blackburn manager Sam Allardyce expects Phil Jones to form a golden defensive partnership with Chris Smalling at Manchester United.
Jones, Blackburn's highly-rated 19-year-old centre-back, is poised to join the Barclays Premier League champions in a deal thought to be worth around £16million. The player is now on international duty with England Under-21s but is understood to have agreed terms and passed a medical at United.
Allardyce, who is now at West Ham but handed Jones his senior debut last year, told the BBC: "Phil is obviously going to flourish now at Manchester United because he links up with Chris Smalling."
He added: "Again, he was bought by Manchester United from Fulham after only playing a handful of games.
"That was around £10million and this is £15million and rising - it shows that young talent today is very expensive."
Jones has made a big impression at Ewood Park in a short space of time, and recovered well from a three-month knee injury lay-off to finish the 2010-11 season strongly.
Allardyce added: "I think eventually, with a little more experience, which is going to gain more quickly at Manchester United, he will ultimately become an England defender."
Jones is not the only source of transfer speculation surrounding United, with reports increasingly suggesting the club are closing in on Aston Villa forward Ashley Young.
It was claimed Young's representatives met with United officials yesterday but there has been no comment from either the Red Devils or Villa.
Young, 25, has been valued at around £20million even though he has just one year remaining on his Villa contract. He has also been linked with Liverpool but his future may not be resolved immediately as he is getting married this weekend.