Newcastle United are one of 13 clubs interested in signing Manchester United outcast Phil Jones in January, according to a new report.
The Sun report that the Red Devils have been ‘flooded’ with inquiries for the centre-back, who has been building himself back up to full fitness in training and with matches in the club’s under-23 side.
The Magpies and Watford are reportedly two Premier League teams interested in taking the 29-year-old on loan in the January window.
But the report adds that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer won’t make any decision on Jones’ immediate future until the club has negotiated the busy festive period.
With Raphael Varane already struggling with injuries and Eric Bailly likely to be heading for the African Cup of Nations come the new year, Solskjaer isn’t going to want to leave himself short at the back.
Jones has been getting priceless game time in United’s under-23 alongside Teden Mengi, who could also step up to the first team if Solskjaer endured a centre back crisis.
Should Newcastle target Jones?
With Newcastle not signing any Premier League players on loan in the summer alongside Jones’ record with injuries, a temporary six-month spell, with a view to a permanent deal may be the best solution for all parties.
Jones hasn’t featured for the Red Devils’ first team since scoring in the FA Cup win at Tranmere in January 2020, but his current contract at Old Trafford doesn’t expire until June 2023.
If fit, the Premier League winner would bolster Newcastle’s defensive options and the question would be whether impending new boss Eddie Howe saw the England international as the man, who could help shore up the league’s second worst defence.
Newcastle don’t have time on their side to bed in a player who hasn’t played a Premier League game since last January.
We need players who can hit the ground running immediately, and that might be a factor for Howe to consider if he pursues Phil Jones.
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