Derby County are lining up an ambitious January transfer window move for Manchester United outcast Phil Jones, according to the Daily Star.
The 28-year-old – who has made 27 appearances for England – has yet to make an appearance for the Red Devils this season, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer outcasting him from his matchday squads in both league and cup competitions.
Jones made just eight appearances in all competitions last season and is in danger of throwing his career away if he doesn’t escape United soon, and still has two-and-a-half years remaining on his contract.
The upcoming January transfer window may be a critical one for Jones, who needs to find a new club if he is to resurrect himself, and despite his lack of game-time in recent years he is still apparently a wanted man.
The Daily Star claim that Derby are one of a number of clubs interested in giving Jones a lifeline away from Old Trafford, with West Brom and Burnley also eyeing him up.
Both of those top flight links make sense. West Brom’s new manager Sam Allardyce is the man that gave Jones his senior debut at Blackburn so would be an obvious target, whilst Burnley lack major depth in their defence.
But with a takeover from Bin Zayed International on the horizon, a temporary switch to the Rams for the rest of the season may be a good move for Jones.
Whilst he may not be an international-quality player at this moment in time, Jones will be eager to get his career back on track in the near future
If anyone can motivate him to get the best out of him, it could be his former United team-mate Rooney, who may end up getting the managerial gig full-time at Pride Park.
With Curtis Davies out for the rest of the season due to an achilles injury, Derby need to strengthen their hand in defence, and if they could somehow tempt Jones to drop down a level then it would be a major coup.
With the takeover set to be done before the transfer window opens, whoever the new permanent manager is should have money to spend, and if it is indeed Rooney then he will surely want to link up with Jones once again.
Jones needs a lifeline to make the most of the rest of his career, and he may just be about to receive one within the next month.