Man Utd have confirmed 19 year old English defender Phil Jones as their first summer signing today in a 5 year deal. The transfer fee is believed to be worth up to £20m if all add on clauses are met.
Having completed his medical last week it was expected the transfer would take place imminently but Blackburn’s owners – Venkys appeared to misunderstand the break out clause in his contract, trying to hold out for more money. Liverpool tried to maximise this confusion by lodging a higher bid than the Red Devils preliminary bid. However the complication was overcome to allow Jones to complete his “dream move” to Manchester United.
At the time Man Utd put their offer in the defender is also understood to have received offers from Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham. The player made it clear however that he was only interested in moving to Manchester United describing it as a “once in a lifetime opportunity” on his Twitter account.
Rio Ferdinand and Wayne Rooney were quick to welcome Phil Jones via their Twitter channels. "Welcome to Man Utd Phil Jones. Looking forward to playing with u," Rooney posted, while Rio added "Welcome to Phil Jones. Another top young talent joining the club. The future is bright."
Since it became apparent he was joining United several top managers and players have spoken out of their high regard for the defender. Harry Redknapp revealed in an interview with Talk Sport that he had his eye on the player.
“I think he’s an amazing young talent and he could easily go on and become an England centre-half in years to come.“I was in for Phil Jones. We were interested in him but it looks like he’s gone to Manchester United,” admitted Redknapp.“I think he’s a great singing for Man United.”
Ex-Blackburn manager Sam Allardyce was also singing the players praises
"His mental strength and the abilities to cope with the pressure of the Premier League at such a young age stood out.He wasn't fazed, didn't look too nervous and was quite calm. That is very important going into the biggest league in the world at such a young age.I think he made his (Premier League) debut against Chelsea and was man of the match.
"His mental strength was always going to be good enough and that is one of the biggest factors if you are going to be a top, top player. I think eventually, with a little more experience, which is going to gain more quickly at Manchester United, he will ultimately become an England defender."
Former Rovers forward Kevin Gallacher even believes the player is “underpriced”. “He is already top quality and will only get better with the players that will be around him at Manchester United."
It seems likely that Phil Jones transfer will be the first of many this summer with Ashley Young expected to finalise his deal in the next 2 weeks. Attacking Argentinean youngster Pato Rodriguez has also been heavily linked in a £10m deal, while the signing of Spanish U-21 keeper David De Gea is also seen as a formality. What remains to be done around the possible signings of Sneijder, Nasri or Modric remains to be seen.