Linked with Derby County throughout the last transfer window, Manchester United outcast Phil Jones will be free to find a new club in the summer.

The Daily Star reported that the Rams were looking into a loan deal for Jones in January, as Wayne Rooney pursued a reunion with his former teammate.

According to the Metro, the Red Devils have now set an asking price of £10m for the 29-year-old who is yet to make a single appearance in any competition this season.

Newcastle United, Burnley and West Ham have also reportedly shown an interest in the centre-back over the last 18 months, meaning the Rams would face stiff competition for Jones should they attempt a deal once the current campaign draws to a close.

After signing in 2011, the defender has made 224 appearances for United in all competitions and been capped 27 times by England.

Tranmere Rovers v Manchester United - FA Cup Fourth Round
BIRKENHEAD, ENGLAND – JANUARY 26: Phil Jones of Manchester United covered in mud during the FA Cup Fourth Round match between Tranmere Rovers and Manchester United at Prenton Park on January 26, 2020 in Birkenhead, England. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

The defence is certainly a department that Derby shall be looking to add to when possible with Matt Clarke, Teden Mengi and George Edmundson all set to return to their parent clubs at the end of the season.

 

Without loanees, Derby have just two centre-backs on their books, both of whom have contracts set to expire in June.

Club captain Curtis Davies, 36, is unlikely to see his contract renewed after spending the majority of the campaign on the side-lines due to a ruptured Achilles tendon that he picked up against Brentford in December.

Andre Wisdom, 27, is the likelier candidate to see his contract extended. The right-back turned centre-back has made 33 appearances for the Rams this season and has captained the side on a number of occasions. It would be a shock to see him leave on a free.

Barnsley v Derby County - Sky Bet Championship
BARNSLEY, ENGLAND – MARCH 10: Andre Wisdom of Derby County during the Sky Bet Championship match between Barnsley and Derby County at Oakwell Stadium on March 10, 2021 in Barnsley, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images)

With takeover talks ongoing, Wayne Rooney’s transfer budget is yet to be known.

Should Mel Morris still own the club when the transfer window reopens, it is doubtful that Derby will spend anything near that £10m mentioned, especially on an individual player, but if the Rams are taken over then who knows what sort of fees we might see thrown around?

There is a lot yet to happen before this kind of story could become a reality.

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