Manchester United are reportedly prepared to trigger the extension clause in the contract of defender Phil Jones. The England international has just eight months remaining on his existing deal with the Red Devils but the club are keen to avoid losing him on a free next summer by extending his contract by a further year, The Sun reports.
Jones is currently one of United’s longest-serving players having joined under the guidance of Alex Ferguson in 2011, but he has not managed 30 or more appearances in any top-flight season to date amid the regular concerns regarding his fitness.
The same has been the trend during the course of the ongoing campaign and this has unsurprisingly cost him a starting berth with Chris Smalling and Victor Lindelof having become the first-choice picks under Jose Mourinho at the heart of the defence.
Despite this, Mourinho is understood to value the experience and qualities of the former Blackburn graduate and The Sun reports that United are likely to go with the Portuguese’s trust and keep the defender for another campaign at the least.
Jones may have endured a tough period in the Premier League over the past 18 months but this has, however, not stemmed the interest in his services with Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur among the top sides monitoring his developments.
Nonetheless, offloading any player to a direct league rival does not appear a course of action for United at the moment and they appear prepared to give themselves time until the summer at the least to decide upon the defender’s future.
Jones has managed just two appearances for United over the course of the current campaign and the latest of those came during the League Cup third round defeat to Derby County via a penalty shootout. Jones missed the spot kick which handed the Rams a shock triumph.
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