Phil Jones (L) and Chris Smalling (R), who are currently the starting center-back tandem for England at the U-21 level, may be the future pairing for Manchester United. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
Manchester United have confirmed that Phil Jones will become the first official signing of the summer after agreeing to a 5-year-deal. It was thought the 19-year-old had been captured last week for a reported £16-million buyout clause, however, speculation is that Blackburn Rovers attempted to negotiate for a higher transfer fee. The current confirmed agreement is for an undisclosed amount. Here is a statement released by United on Monday:
"Manchester United is delighted to announce it has signed an agreement with Blackburn Rovers for the transfer of Phil Jones. The player passed a medical in Manchester last week and has agreed a 5-year contract. The deal will be completed once the player returns from international duty"
The center-back, who also played as a defensive midfielder for Blackburn, is currently competing in the U-21 European Championships for England - his latest match being England's 1-1 draw with Spain on Sunday night in Denmark. Future United teammates Chris Smalling, Danny Welbeck, and Tom Cleverley started alongside him.
Blackburn released a statement as well:
"Much as we would love him to stay on with us - and we made all efforts to convince him to stay - Phil has to finally follow his heart. We are extremely happy with his contribution to our team and we wish him all the very best in future endeavours"
In other transfer speculation involving United, Arsenal FC are believed to be stepping up their efforts to sign Samir Nasri to a long-term contract. In addition, Federico Macheda's agent is insisting that his client will not be sent out on loan next season and that he will ply his trade at Old Trafford. Furthermore, Mesut Ozil's agent, Reza Fazeli, claims interest from United:
"We thank Manchester United for their interest but Ozil is fine in Madrid and has no intention of leaving."