BREAKING NEWS: Manchester United CONFIRM Phil Jones is leaving the club this summer as he admits it ‘was difficult’ not to play and plans to take time off before deciding on his career
Manchester United have confirmed Phil Jones will leave the club this summer.
Jones’ contract expires at the end of the season and the centre-back is expected to leave Old Trafford after 12 years through injury.
The defender joined United from Blackburn and won the Premier League in 2012/13, his last season as manager of Sir Alex Ferguson.
He made 229 appearances for United, scoring six goals and winning 27 caps for England.
His last appearance for United was a 3-0 win over Brentford at the end of last season, with his hopes of being there this year being dashed by fitness problems.
Now Jones has opened up about his recovery efforts and thanked supporters.
Speaking to United club media, he said: “The last couple of years have been very difficult.” There’s no denying that. There is no hiding from it.
“My family has been instrumental in keeping me on track and staying focused so I try to get fit and play more.”
“And you know, I missed playing football. I missed it. You grow up with football and you just want to play football.
‘The only thing I’ve learned from a young age is to do what you love to do for a living.’ I’ve been fortunate enough to do that, although not as much as I would have liked.’
Then he added, “I worked tirelessly hard.” I literally left no stone unturned. I’ve tried to come back as soon as possible every time I’ve been out for the past few years.
“I think the highlight for me would be the Wolves game.” [his return from injury last season], when I returned. It was just a moment I will never forget.
“Now I get goose bumps just thinking about it. I mean I worked so hard to get to this level of fitness.
“It was a huge moment in my career and the fans that day were amazing.” The love they showed me for this game, the passion they showed was sensational. And I can’t thank them enough for that.
“They have been a constant support throughout my time here.”
Jones plans to take some time off from the game before contemplating his next moves.