David Moyes must avoid launching a pursuit of Phil Jones in the upcoming January transfer market in hopes of reuniting with the Manchester United defender at West Ham.
According to Eurosport, the London Stadium is emerging as a potential destination for Jones in the mid-season market as it is expected that the 28-year-old will soon leave Old Trafford.
Jones is yet to feature in any competition this season after boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer opted to omit the centre-half from his Premier League and Champions League squads whilst he recovers from injury.
Solskjaer recently opened the door for Jones to feature after Christmas when stating expectations of the former England international returning to fitness in December, yet it is now said United are willing to let him leave if a potential move catches his attention.
The Red Devils are also open to offers for the 2012/13 Premier League winner to aid his route away from the club, with Jones’ near-£80,000-per-week contract a potential hurdle otherwise facing a move out of Old Trafford.
West Ham and Leicester City are believed to be potential options for the 27-cap England international, while Newcastle United boss Steve Bruce has been in communication with Manchester United assistant coach Michael Carrick to gain a better understanding of Jones’ physical state and focus.
Jones was a regular fixture of Moyes’ defence at Old Trafford during the Scottish coach’s ill-fated year in charge of Manchester United, making 36 appearances, but a reunion at West Ham would be a risky affair with little upside.
While Solskjaer suggested Jones is entering his prime when the defender penned a new contract in February last year, the 28-year-old has rarely enjoyed a regular taste of Premier League football since leaving Blackburn Rovers with injuries occurring year-on-year.
Jones made just two outings in the top-flight last term, while issues restricted him to just 15 starts the season before. Even in his 23 appearances in the 2017/18 campaign – a high since 13/14 – he suffered two hamstring injuries and soon lost his place in the England squad.
Any hopes of being recalled by Gareth Southgate likely hinge on Jones leaving Old Trafford as soon as possible so that he can regain his lost form, which saw Arsenal icon Martin Keown tear him apart after he replaced the injured Harry Maguire for United’s Carabao Cup Semi-Final first leg against Manchester City in January.
“I don’t like to see someone be a figure of ridicule,” he told talkSPORT. “Someone has got to get in his ear and talk to him – he’s still a good player. But sometimes he looks like he’s on roller-skates, sometimes he looks like the stunt-man of the team.
“He demonstrates when he has the ball that he hasn’t got a pass, he’s waving with his arms and he’s pleading with people, but just relax and play! I don’t know how much help he’s getting, but he needs it. If they haven’t got a defensive coach, they need to get one, get in his ear and help him.”