Phil Jones to leave Man United after 12 years at club

Posted Saturday, May 20, 2023 by ESPN

Phil Jones will leave Manchester United this summer after 12 years at Old Trafford, the club announced on Friday.

Jones has not played for United for over a year, and the club have decided not to trigger a one-year option in his contract that would have kept him at Old Trafford until 2024.

The 31-year-old defender will not be on United's retained list, due to be published by the Premier League in June and will be free to find another club ahead of next season, although he is yet to decide whether or not to continue his playing career.

Jones said in an interview with club media: "It's been very difficult, the last couple of years. There's no denying that. There is no hiding away from that. My family have been absolutely instrumental in keeping me on the straight and narrow and keeping me focused, to try to get fit and try to play more.

Phil Jones to leave Man United after 12 years at club
Phil Jones made 229 appearances for Manchester United. Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images

"I've worked tirelessly hard. I literally left no stone unturned. I tried to get back as quick as I could, every time I was out in the last couple of years."

Jones made five appearances last season but missed the entirety of the 2020-21 campaign through injury. He was restricted to just eight appearances during the 2019-20 season and he has not been regularly available for United since April 2019.

He leaves having played 229 games for the club, scoring six goals.

The defender, capped 27 times by England, was part of United's title-winning team in 2013 under Sir Alex Ferguson and also collected winners' medals in the 2016 FA Cup and 2017 Europa League.

In an open letter to supporters posted on social media, Jones said: "To wear this shirt just once, to wear this badge and represent everyone associated with it, was an honour.

"My time at United has been nothing short of incredible. When I decided to leave Blackburn, I always wanted to prove myself further. I'd represented my boyhood club, and lived a dream, but I was desperate to show everyone what I could do at the highest level.

"I lived a dream at the biggest club in the world. I played for England in major tournaments. At United, I won trophies, most notably the Premier League under Sir Alex, in his final season."

Jones, who joined United from Blackburn Rovers as a teenager in a £16 million deal, was named in the England squad for two World Cups in 2014 and 2018 after making his international debut under Fabio Capello in 2011.

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