Belfast Telegraph

United clinch Jones deal

Manchester United have confirmed the capture of Blackburn defender Phil Jones on a five-year deal.

United thought they had secured Jones' services last week, only for the transfer to be halted due to an unforeseen snag. It was claimed Blackburn were holding out for more cash and that Liverpool had jumped in with a £20million offer.

However, Jones, who featured for England Under-21's in their opening European Championship match against Spain in Denmark last night, apparently told Rovers he did not wish to join any other club than United.

And with the Red Devils refusing to budge beyond the figure - believed to be £16.5million - that triggered a buyout clause in the 19-year-old's contract, Blackburn have been forced to agree a sale.

"Manchester United is delighted to announce it has signed an agreement with Blackburn Rovers for the transfer of Phil Jones," said a United statement.

"The player passed a medical in Manchester last week and has agreed a five-year contract."The deal will be completed once the player returns from international duty."

It takes the number of United players who started Sunday night's Under-21 game to four, emphasising the importance Sir Alex Ferguson is placing on youth as he rebuilds his squad in the wake of last month's Champions League final defeat to Barcelona.

In addition, the Old Trafford chief is hoping to complete the signing of Spain goalkeeper David de Gea, who produced an excellent performance in Herning on the opposite side to Jones.

It is also anticipated Ferguson will land Aston Villa's Ashley Young once the midlands outfit have filled their managerial vacancy.


From Belfast Telegraph