Wayne Rooney refused to be drawn on speculation suggesting that Manchester United defender Phil Jones could join Derby County in the January transfer window.
Even though the 28-year-old has suffered with injury problems this season, he is way down the pecking order at Old Trafford. Therefore, he will be able to leave on loan next month, with the Rams thought to be among the clubs interested.
Financially, reports claim that the Red Devils will pay a substantial amount of Jones’ £120,000 a week salary, which would enable Derby to do a deal.
And, the East Midlands outfit will hope linking up with his former teammate at Pride Park means they beat Middlesbrough and West Brom, the two other linked clubs, to his signature.
However, whilst Rooney didn’t dismiss the potential signing, he was very coy when speaking to The Athletic reporter Ryan Conway as to whether Jones is a target.
“He’s a Manchester United player. It’s not my job to speak on him.”
The 35-year-old still hasn’t been named the permanent Rams manager despite enjoying a very successful recent spell in charge.
Quiz: Did these 25 players make more or less than 100 Derby County appearances?
This is the standard professional response you get from most managers when they are asked about players, so Rooney has learnt quickly in that sense!
It’s difficult to know what we can take from his comments, although as he hasn’t rubbished the link, people may believe there’s something in it.
Rooney is sure to use his contacts and friendships in the game to help Derby, and Jones would do that if he can stay fit. So, it’s something to monitor moving forward, even if the bigger priority is sorting the takeover situation for Derby first.
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