Blackburn's Phil Jones set for Manchester United move

By Dan RoanBBC Sport news correspondent
Phil Jones in action for Blackburn
Jones made his Premier League debut in a home match against Chelsea

Blackburn defender Phil Jones is set to join Manchester United in a deal worth up to £17m.

The England Under-21 centre-half had a medical with the Premier League champions on Wednesday, after turning down offers from Arsenal and Liverpool.

Jones only made his Premier League debut in March last year but has made a big impact in his first full season.

The 19-year-old was due to travel to Denmark with the under-21s on Wednesday for the European Championship.

Jones will not find it easy to disrupt United's first-choice centre-back pairing of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic, while Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans are also competing for places at the heart of Sir Alex Ferguson's defence.

But he impressed as Blackburn ended their season with a four-game unbeaten run, which included a 1-1 draw with United and wins over Bolton and Wolves, to ensure their Premier League survival.

Jones, who was born in Preston, joined Blackburn's youth set-up in 2002, making his debut in a Carling Cup win at Nottingham Forest in September 2009. His first Premier League appearance came six months later in a 1-1 draw with Chelsea at Ewood Park.

United striker Wayne Rooney reacted to the news by writing on Twitterexternal-link: "Phil Jones is a good young English player. One of the toughest defenders I played against last season. Can play midfield too."

He added: "I don't know if Phil Jones is signing for us, just saying he is a good player that's all. I haven't got a clue if he is signing or not."

The defender has made 35 appearances in total for Blackburn but has yet to score for the club.

Rovers striker Jason Roberts said losing Jones would be a big blow to the club.

"He has been fantastic for us since he has come into the team but how do you stop someone going to Man Utd?" Roberts told BBC Radio 5 live.

"It's a good amount of money and hopefully he will go on and have a lot of success in his career. He is a very intelligent centre half. He is not overly physical and yet he can hold his own.

"The biggest compliment I can pay him is that as soon as he came into the team, he played against Didier Drogba at Chelsea and I've never seen anyone play as well against him.

"I thought he was fantastic and since then he has never really let his standards drop. He is a very level-headed guy and I don't think he is going to have a problem fitting into Manchester United in terms of mentality.

"Once he gets the opportunity, he will stay there because it is very rare that he is at fault for a goal or out of position or letting the team down."