Premier League Club Failed To Sign Phil Jones From Man United In 'Last-Gasp Approach' On Deadline Day
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Jones made his sensational return for United last month and impressed fans with his performance in the Red Devils’ 1-0 defeat to Wolves at Old Trafford.
The 29-year-old United defender faced a lengthy absence from the first team due to a long-term knee problem, but Ralf Rangnick started Jones alongside Raphael Varane for the Wolves match.
Jones then came off the bench in extra-time to replace Varane in United’s shock defeat to Middlesbrough in the FA Cup on Friday at Old Trafford.
The centre-back’s cameo against Middlesbrough was his first football action since the Wolves defeat in early January.
Jones was heavily linked with a move to Bordeaux, but the United man turned down a move to the Ligue 1 side before the window closed on 31st January.
However, Football Insider now reports that Watford made a last-ditch effort to sign the former England defender on deadline day.
A recruitment source told the publication that new Watford manager Roy Hodgson had ‘sanctioned a move’ for Jones, who is out of contract with United in 2023.
The transfer approach for Jones was ‘knocked back,’ but Hodgson wanted to add an experienced defender to his ranks for Watford’s fight for Premier League survival.
Hodgson had selected Jones for England’s squads at Euro 2012 and the 2014 World Cup, with the former Three Lions boss being a ‘big admirer’ of Jones.
The 74-year-old is Watford’s third manager of the season after the sackings of Xisco and Claudio Ranieri.
Xisco led the Hornets back to the Premier League and was dismissed last October, with Ranieri appointed as his successor.
However, former Leicester City manager Ranieri was unable to turn the tide for Watford and was axed by the Premier League strugglers last month.
Watford have failed to keep a single clean sheet this season and have conceded 40 times in the league, with the Hornets in 19th place ahead of their match with Burnley on Saturday.