Liverpool have reportedly made an attempt to hijack Phil Jones’ protracted move to Manchester United.
According to the Mail on Sunday, the Merseysiders have made on offer of £22 million for the Blackburn defender, despite the 19-year-old seemingly destined to end up at Old Trafford.
United offered £16.5 million for Jones last week, which triggered a release clause in his contract and allowed the Barclays Premier League leaders to enter into discussions with the centre-back.
However, Rovers are not obliged to sell him for that fee and owners Venky’s will now allegedly hold out for a substantial increase before they allow Jones to leave Ewood Park.
This has given Liverpool renewed hope of beating United to the signature of the England under 21 international, and the Reds have already made a move to bring Jones to Anfield.
Jones had initially rejected the opportunity to speak to Liverpool after the Reds had also triggered his release clause, and instead opted to negotiate a transfer to United.
It would now appear that his dream move to Old Trafford is potentially in tatters after Liverpool’s move to trump their north-west rivals, although United are likely to return with an improved offer of their own.
Jones is currently on international duty in the under 21 European Championships, so any transfer will not be finalised until his return, so Liverpool and United face anxious wait before finding who has won the race for his signature.
Along with Jones, Liverpool and United have both been competing for Ashley Young and Charlie Adam, with the former seemingly set for Old Trafford and Anfield the most likely destination for the latter.