Manchester United finally complete signing of Phil Jones
England Under-21 centre-half joins United on a five-year contract in a deal believed to be worth up to £17m
Manchester United have finally completed the signing of Blackburn Rovers defender Phil Jones on a five-year deal.
The 19-year-old passed a medical and agreed personal terms with United last week after the Red Devils met the £16m release clause in the centre-half’s contract.
The England Under-21 international, who featured for his country in their opening European Championship match against Spain on Sunday, had attracted interest from Liverpool but Jones reportedly told Rovers he only wanted to join the Premier League champions.
“Manchester United is delighted to announce it has signed an agreement with Blackburn Rovers for the transfer of Phil Jones,” read a United statement.
“The player passed a medical in Manchester last week and has agreed a five-year contract. The deal will be completed once the player returns from international duty.”
Several United players revealed their delight at the deal via their Twitter accounts on Monday.
Wayne Rooney said: “Welcome to Man United Phil Jones. Looking forward to playing with u,” while defender Rio Ferdinand added: “Welcome to Phil Jones. Another top young talent joining the club. The future is bright.”
And the player himself said: “I’d just like to start off by saying that I’ve loved my time at Blackburn and I will always be a huge fan.
“But this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I am looking forward to a new challenge. Thank you for all your kind messages.”
Jones’ England Under-21 team-mate Chris Smalling hopes the pair will be able to replicate their international partnership at club level in years to come.
“It’s brilliant,” he said. “I’ve really enjoyed playing with him and it’s hard to think he’s only 19. Phil and I have been pretty good together for many games now.
“It’s been disappointing that Micah [Richards] has not been able to come [to the European Under-21 Championship] but Phil’s come in and done really well and we’ve been able to set our stall out. Hopefully we can play together for a few years.”