Today’s papers are reporting that United will make bids worth a combined £38m for Blackburn’s Phil Jones and Aston Villa’s Ashley Young, with Young’s transfer supposedly going through within the next 48 hours.
It is true that United are very keen on the Aston Villa winger – a £13m bid for the player was turned down by the Midlands club in January, so the reports emanating throughout the country’s newspapers do have substance. The price of £20m however, doesn’t. Regardless of Young’s abilities and age, his contract expires in a year and if he stays at Villa he can negotiate a deal in January to leave on a free in June.
Now United may well have history in overpaying for players, but to get squeezed for an extra seven million pounds for a player with six months less time on his contract doesn’t seem likely. If a deal is to be done, expect it to be for around £12m with add-ons dependent on appearances, goals and trophies.
The Phil Jones rumour is a new one which doesn’t appear likely at all. The young defender has been very impressive for Blackburn in his first couple of seasons as a professional footballer and can also play as a holding midfielder. However, with United likely to be agreeing a deal for Lens’ Raphael Varane and several other clubs including Liverpool, Manchester City and Arsenal supposedly courting Jones, this isn’t one for Reds to be getting their hopes up over.
On the subject of Blackburn several newspapers are claiming that they will raid United’s squad of its fringe players. Wes Brown, Mame Biram Diouf, Darron Gibson and John O’Shea have all been linked with Rovers, but with Brown having sold his house and supposedly preferring a move to Spain and O’Shea having recently signed a new deal, only the Diouf and Gibson deals could be realistically envisaged.