Manchester United have officially announced that Phil Jones will leave the club when his contract expires at the end of next month.
Jones is one of five players who will be released at the conclusion of the season, as reported by Manchester Evening News earlier this week. Jones has only been able to make two starts in the past three seasons due to injury difficulties.
The center-back, who transferred to United from Blackburn Rovers in 2011, has not trained all season and has yet to be seen since a Carrington workout in May of last year. On May 2, 2022, he made his final appearance for the Reds, coming off the bench in a 3-0 victory over Brentford at Old Trafford.
“It’s been very difficult the last couple of years,” Jones told club media. “There’s no denying that. There is no hiding away from that.
“My family has been instrumental in keeping me on the straight and narrow and focused on trying to get fit and play more. And, you know, I’ve missed playing football. I missed it.
“You grow up playing football, and all you want to do is play football. It’s all I’ve known, from such a young age, is to do what you love doing for a living. I’ve been fortunate enough to do that, albeit less than I would have liked.
“I’ve worked tirelessly hard. I left no stone unturned. I returned as quickly as possible every time I was out in the last couple of years.
“The highlight for me would have to be the Wolves game [his return from injury last season] when I returned. That was just a moment that I’ll never forget. It gives me goosebumps now thinking about it. I worked so, so hard to get to that stage of fitness.
“That was a huge moment in my career, and the fans that day were incredible. The love they showed me for that game, the passion they showed, was sensational. And I can’t thank them enough for that. They’ve been a constant support throughout my time here.”
Jones appeared 229 times for United in all. The defenseman is ‘taking some time,’ according to the team, before deciding on the next step in his career.