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Jun 8, 2011

Jones on the brink of United move

Blackburn Rovers defender Phil Jones is reportedly having a medical at Manchester United ahead of a move to the Premier League champions.

• Hernandez: I owe Ferguson
• Kagawa keen on United
• On The Move: Transfer blog

Jones, 19, made his breakthrough at Ewood Park in the 2009-10 season under Sam Allardyce and continued to impress in his second campaign, starting 24 games for Rovers.

The teenager would likely have played more games, but for a cartilage injury that kept him out for three months between December and March.

He has played at right-back, centre-back and in midfield for Blackburn, but his most comfortable position is at the heart of defence, where he may partner United's Chris Smalling for England Under-21s at the upcoming European Championship.

Jones caught the eye of England's biggest clubs with some assured displays for Blackburn over the past 18 months but it is United who have swooped to sign him, reportedly from under the noses of Liverpool and also Arsenal, who are thought to have shown an interest.

A fee in the region of £16 million is thought to have been agreed, which would be £4 million more than United spent on bringing Smalling to Old Trafford from Fulham last year.

The defender signed a new contract at Rovers in February, which was due to expire in 2016 and Blackburn boss Steve Kean spoke at the time about the interest in Jones.

"Phil has made incredible progress over the past year or so and his form, prior to his unfortunate injury setback, attracted a lot of attention," Kean said.

United striker Wayne Rooney talked up the abilities of Jones on Twitter, saying: "Phil jones is a good young English player. 1 of the toughest defenders I played against last season. Can play midfield to."

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