Old Trafford club look for alternatives as veteran struggles with injury and are keen on Ewood Park player.
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Manchester United are lining up a £15million summer swoop for Blackburn Rovers defender Phil Jones after doubts have grown over the long-term future of Rio Ferdinand.
The Daily Telegraph reports Ferdinand’s career is in the balance, as the calf injury sustained at the beginning of February shows no sign of healing.
Manager Sir Alex Ferguson has been impressed by the start Jones, 19, has made to his Premier League career and is attracted by his versatility to play in midfield.
But the Red Devils face stiff competition from title rivals Arsenal, who are desperate for a centre-back themselves.
Injury concerns over Thomas Vermaelen and Johan Djourou, and doubts about Sebastian Squillaci, has caused manager Arsene Wenger to again search for a defensive option.
Jones has recently signed a new long-term contract and Blackburn are not desperate for the money, but the lure of Champions League football may be to strong for the player to resist.