Old Trafford boss set to get his man.
Manchester United land Phil Jones for £16.5m.
Manchester United have refused to allow Blackburn Rovers to drive up the price for centre-half Phil Jones and, despite a late attempt by Liverpool to capitalise on the chaos surrounding the player’s transfer, confirmation of the £16.5m deal is expected imminently.
Liverpool tabled a £22m counter-bid for Jones on Saturday, after it emerged that Rovers’ Indian owners, Venky’s, were insisting that the £16m get-out clause written into the player’s contract was merely a starting figure for negotiations. The Liverpool manager, Kenny Dalglish, knew Jones’ heart was set on Old Trafford and there appears to have been an element of mischief in Anfield’s attempts to gazump United and thus potentially drive up the price.
The Indians were advised that the get-out clause allows Jones to move to any club which offers the stipulated sum and the original £16.5m sale of Jones was actually concluded on Saturday.
It appears, according to this well respected source, that the clause placed within Phil Jones’ contract meant that all Man United had to do was offer the £16.5m need to trigger the sale, no more and no less. Given that the Blackburn Rovers defender had already agreed to join the Old Trafford club it seems that the deal can now go through, despite resultant offers reportedly made by both Liverpool and Arsenal.
The talented youngster played for England’s Under 21 side against Spain last night and will now be ready to team up with his international team-mates Danny Welbeck and Chris Smalling who also took part.
Kenny Dalglish had reportedly sanctioned a bid for Jones, one that was reportedly higher than that offered by Man United, but a high court ruling, coincidentally also involved Liverpool, has set a precendent which the Independent goes on to explain.
Although Middlesbrough argued that Glasgow Rangers and Chelsea had both offered £7.5m for Ziege, Justice Astill said that the German had no market value as a player because Middlesbrough had agreed to allow him the £5.5m release clause. The clause “effectively removed [Middlesbrough] from the picture. [The club] was left with no choice; a choice which it would otherwise have had under the terms of the standard contract,” the court found.
Man United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has brought in Jones to bolster his defensive options which seems a fairly wise move given issues he has with some of his current crop. Rio Ferdinand has struggled badly with injuries over the past 18 months and Jonny Evans has seen his form plummet, luckily new signing Smalling has impressed and Nemanja Vidic is as solid as ever.
Ferguson will look to complete the deal to sign Ashley Young in the next few days and may well elect to offload some under performing members of his squad in order to make room with the likes of Darron Gibson, Gabriel Obertan, Bebe and sub keeper Tomasz Kuszczak all linked with exits.