Jose Mourinho blocked approaches from four Premier League clubs for Manchester United star Phil Jones this summer despite appearing to be on the fringes of his first-team plans, according to the Daily Mail.
The 24-year-old has not featured for the Red Devils since January after a mixture of form and fitness issues and has yet to feature in a competitive fixture under the new manager.
But despite being well down the pecking order at Old Trafford, Mourinho has rejected approaches from Arsenal, Tottenham, Leicester City and his former club Chelsea.
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Mourinho's reluctance to do business does not appear to be because he rates Jones highly but simply because he does not want to strengthen a potential Premier League title rival.
Jones is now facing a season on the sidelines at Manchester United but appears confident of forcing his way back into the Special One's plans. Indeed, there is no suggestion that the former Blackburn prodigy tried to agitate his way out of the club, apparently happy to continue.
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He is currently the fourth-choice centre-back behind Chris Smalling, Eric Bailly and even Daley Blind, who is naturally a midfielder but appears to be making a permanent switch to defence. The only player he can claim to be ahead of is Marcos Rojo who may yet leave before the transfer deadline passes.
Jones made just 13 appearances for Manchester United in the last campaign and, when he did return to fitness, looked far from his best in reserve fixtures. The ankle injury was the latest in a long line of ailments that have halted his progress.
Indeed, he has suffered injuries all over his body: head, shoulder, back, hip, groin, hamstring, knee, calf, shin, foot, as well as the aforementioned ankle problems.
Mourinho, however, still sees plenty of potential in Jones with a report from The Mirror claiming the former Chelsea boss sees a hint of John Terry in his style of play.
There now appears to be little chance that Jones will leave before the transfer deadline passes on Wednesday evening. Chelsea are pursuing other targets including PSG defender David Luiz while Arsenal completed a deal for Shkodran Mustafi on Tuesday evening.
Tottenham, however, could be in contact with the Daily Mail reporting that Mauricio Pochettino is eyeing up a potential move for former Southampton star Morgan Schneiderlin. The Argentinian was instrumental in turning the Frenchman into an international star and the pair hold a close relationship.
Like Jones, Schneiderlin is not officially for sale and Manchester United may be reluctant to sell to a team that came third in the Premier League last season.