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Roberts: United to get their Phil


Phil Jones

Phil Jones

Phil Jones

Blackburn striker Jason Roberts accepts there is little the club could have done to prevent highly-rated defender Phil Jones joining Manchester United.

The Barclays Premier League champions are thought to be close to completing the signing of the 19-year-old in a deal worth around £16million. There has been no official confirmation from either club but Jones was widely reported to have undergone a medical at United on Wednesday.

Roberts told Radio Five Live: "When Manchester United come calling there aren't many clubs who keep their players. It's one of those things but hopefully he'll go on to bigger and better things and we'll improve and will be looking at the top 10 next year."

United are thought to have beaten off competition from rivals Liverpool and Arsenal to land the England Under-21 international.

Jones only broke into the Blackburn side in March last year but has quickly made a big impression at Ewood Park.

He recently endured a three-month lay-off with a knee injury but returned to finish the season strongly and he featured in the game last month that saw United clinch the title.

He is expected to be the first of a number of new faces at United this summer. Aston Villa forward Ashley Young, Udinese winger Alexis Sanchez and Atletico Madrid goalkeeper David de Gea all on Sir Alex Ferguson's wanted list, in addition to Luka Modric and Wesley Sneijder.

Another defender, Raphael Varane of Lens, has also been linked.

Blackburn, after escaping relegation on the final day of the season, can now turn their attention to rebuilding. Owners Venky's have stated their confidence in manager Steve Kean and Roberts expects them to back that up with finance.

The veteran forward, 33, said: "We haven't bought anyone in yet but I'm sure we'll be busy in the transfer market. I've got a feeling we're going to go into the market and be successful."