Jose Mourinho has requested a meeting with Phil Jones for when the Manchester United defender returns from his holiday.
This is according to Goal, who understand that Jones could be reassured by his newly-appointed manager that he still has a future at Old Trafford.
Jones has been touted as one of the United players who could be shown the door by Mourinho this summer and suggestions that the injury-prone defender could be kept on, courtesy of Goal sources around the club, will come as a genuine surprise to many fans.
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If this latest report proves to be accurate and Mourinho opts to keep Jones, Daley Blind’s future at United will be plunged into further doubt.
Sky Sports reported last month that Mourinho plans to axe the Dutch international, along with playmaker Juan Mata.
Mourinho prefers Jones over Blind?
While he is both versatile and intelligent, Blind is neither fast nor strong and doesn’t appear to fit the profile that Mourinho expects from his centre-backs.
Jones, on the other hand, might not be as technically gifted as Blind but he possesses more pace, is better in the air and is much stronger in the tackle.
However, he has been far from reliable over the past few seasons. The England international made just 13 appearances for the Red Devils this term and has suffered from a multitude of injuries all over his body: specifically head, shoulder, back, hip, groin, hamstring, knee, calf, shin, foot, and ankle problems.
Smalling to retain his place in defence
Even if Mourinho tells Jones that he has an important role at play at Old Trafford under his management, though, the 24-year-old is unlikely to be a first-choice starter following the £30 million arrival of Eric Bailly from Villarreal.
Chris Smalling has been one of United’s most consistent performers over the past 18 months and should retain his place at the heart of defence, alongside Bailly, at the start of the new season.
Will keeping Phil Jones prove to be a mistake by Jose Mourinho? Have your say by leaving a comment below.