Phil Jones has made a swift return to Manchester United, just months after being released by the club.
Phil Jones, who initially signed for the Red Devils in 2011 in a £16.5 million move from Blackburn, had a storied career at the club, making 229 appearances over 12 seasons.
However, his time at United was marred by persistent injuries, and he did not make a single appearance under manager Erik ten Hag in the last season, even being omitted from the squad list on the club’s program.
Jones had seemingly come from nowhere to feature five times in the 2021/22 season but missed the entirety of the last campaign.
He left the club upon the expiration of his contract on June 30, 2023, and had penned an emotional letter to the club’s supporters following a difficult period.
Recent reports had suggested that Jones had returned to United as a youth coach.
However, these reports have since been debunked by the Manchester Evening News. Instead, it is now revealed that Jones is actively involved in observing Under 18s training sessions.
Sources close to the situation have mentioned that the young players appreciate the opportunity to “engage with someone who has a wealth of knowledge to pass on accumulated during his successful career.”
Despite a center-back injury crisis at the club, which saw Jonny Evans and Harry Maguire forming the pairing in the recent 3-1 defeat to Arsenal, there are no official plans for Jones to take on a coaching role or return to the first-team fold.
His future career path remains uncertain, but it’s clear that he is still exploring his options.
Interestingly, Jones’s iconic No.4 shirt at Manchester United has been claimed by new signing Sofyan Amrabat, who joined the club on loan from Fiorentina.
Raphael Varane, another high-profile signing for the club, had reportedly expressed interest in wearing the No.4 jersey.
However, Varane, who currently sports the No.19, was blocked from taking it as Jones is said to have refused to relinquish the number.