Why Man Utd have DELETED Phil Jones

Stuart Telford
Stuart Telford
  • 3 Feb 2023 19:13 GMT
  • 3 min read
Phil Jones playing for Manchester United in January 2020

Phil Jones has been removed from Manchester United's squad list in their matchday programmes. This is why.

Phil Jones' name no longer appears on the back of Man Utd's programmes for their games at Old Trafford, despite the fact the centre-back still has a contract with the Red Devils valid until the end of the season.

United's squad list jumps from No.2 Victor Lindelof to No.5 Harry Maguire, with No.4 Phil Jones conspicuous by its absence.

READ: Ten Hag reveals £75,000-per-week star hasn't completed ONE training session

And the reason is that the former England international has not been registered for either United's Premier League of Europa League squads this season.

Jones has been struggling with a long-term knee injury, and last started a Premier League game in April 2022 in a 4-0 loss to Liverpool at Anfield.

United recently took up their club option to extend the contracts of Marcus Rashford and Diogo Dalot by another season, and David de Gea has been offered a similar chance, so long as he drops his salary down to £200,000 per week.

READ: De Gea willing to take pay cut to stay at Man Utd

But there is not such rush to bolt down Jones, who joined in a £16.5 million deal from Blackburn Rovers back in 2011.

No new contract for Jones

"No, it's not been taken until now," manager Erik ten Hag said when asked if Jones' option had been activated along with the aforementioned players'. "The decision about that is for the summer, but for the whole season he's injured.

"I can't say [if he will play again this season]. What I can say is that he's not available for training since the first day of training this season so I think there's not an opportunity for you to recover quickly and be available quickly."

The door on Jones' United career isn't completely shut then, but he is running out of time.

Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez have emerged as Ten Hag's first-choice central defenders this season, meaning Jones isn't the only centre-back surplus to requirements.

Maguire was linked with a move to Aston Villa during the recent winter transfer window, while Lindelof has only started four Premier League games this term. Eric Bailly remains on loan at Marseille with an option to make the deal permanent at the end of the season.