Derby County and Middlesbrough have been dealt a blow in their reported transfer pursuit of Manchester United defender Phil Jones.
Goal have reported that Jones is currently struggling with an injury, which could hinder any potential move to the Championship in the January transfer window.
The defender is yet to make an appearance for the Manchester United first-team this season, and is likely to be considerably far down the pecking order in Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s plans.
Jones signed for the club back in 2011 from Blackburn Rovers, and has gone on to make 224 appearances in total for the Premier League side.
But he has found game time hard to come by in recent years, and has been previously linked with a move to both Derby County and Middlesbrough.
An official bid was yet to be made, but this recent update on Jones’ fitness will come as a significant blow to any potential deal that both teams were looking at reaching heading into the January transfer window.
Derby will be looking to add depth to their squad in the New Year, with the Rams currently languishing at the wrong end of the Championship table.
Whilst Middlesbrough are sat ninth in the second-tier standings, and are just four points adrift of the play-off places, as they turn their attentions to the second-half of this year’s campaign.
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This is a frustrating update for both teams.
I find it hard to believe that Jones has much of a future with Manchester United, and his current injury problems, are surely just delaying his inevitable exit in the future.
I think he’d be a solid addition to both Derby County and Middlesbrough, both of whom are in need of additional depth in their defence this season.
But any potential agreement seems to be a long way off at the moment, with Jones’ injury proving a stumbling block.