Chelsea lead the chase for Blackburn starlet

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Football News

Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti is lining up a sensational swoop for Blackburn Rovers youngster Phil Jones - who is one of the hottest properties in English football.

Ancelotti likes his style and believes he has the potential to be as good as John Terry, and sent his top Chelsea scout Frank Arnesen to make a personal check on the home-grown Rover at the weekend.

Jones is already playing for the England under-21's as a centre-back - his preferred position - but has been playing in central midfield for Sam Allardyce's tough, hardworking side. He is highly rated, not just by Blackburn Rovers, but has been labelled a future full international by many top experts.

Big Sam recently said when talking about Jones and England, "You are never to young if you're good enough. Only Fabio Capello and his team can make that judgement."

Ancelotti has claimed he will not be making any signings in January but could move earlier to steal a march on some of his rivals who are circling Ewood Park. Ancelotti wants to bring in another centre-half at Chelsea as he is concerned that the departure of Ricardo Carvalho has left them short in that department.

The Stamford Bridge outfit would have to come up with over £10million for the 18-year-old, who has already started 18 Premier League games, because their Big Four rivals are keen.

Arsenal made an inquiry for Jones in the last window before looking elsewhere for cheaper alternatives, but they may be back. Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is also a known admirer, although he is unlikely to make a move because of the impressive form of fellow new young centre back, Chris Smalling.

And then there is Manchester City - who will be linked with everyone - with talent-spotter Gary Worthington present at the win over Wigan, and they are always in the market for the next top player.

Blackburn will not want to lose their rising star and have more chance of keeping him now they have been taken over by wealthy businessmen, however a massive bid would test them and their new Indian-based owners.

VH are due to give Sam Allardyce money to spend in the New Year and they will not want to anger the fans by letting Jones go to Chelsea so soon after taking over.


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John Terry
Blackburn Rovers
Phil Jones
Premier League

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