Stoke City are lining up an ambitious loan offer for Manchester United and England defender Phil Jones, according to The Sun.

The former Blackburn Rovers centre-half’s future at Old Trafford is unclear currently, with Daley Blind and new signing Eric Bailly starting the Red Devils’ first two Premier League games this season.

With Chris Smalling also returning to availability and on the bench against Southampton on Friday night, competition for places at the heart of Jose Mourinho’s defence is fierce.

Jones has suffered from injury concerns over the last 12 months and will surely be hoping to play regular first-team football in 2016-17.

With this not guaranteed at United, a temporary stint with Mark Hughes’ men could well be appealing to the defender.

The 24-year-old only started six Premier League games last season and was not included in England’s squad for Euro 2016 in the summer.

It remains to be seen whether Mourinho would sanction a move but Jones would be an astute signing by the Britannia Stadium outfit.


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