Phil Jones aiming for Manchester United start after requesting to play for Under 23s to build match sharpness

Phil Jones is looking to persuade Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick to give him a chance in the first team, by requesting to play for the club’s Under 23s.

<p>Phil Jones has been hampered with injuries at Manchester United Credit: Getty</p>

Phil Jones has been hampered with injuries at Manchester United Credit: Getty

Manchester United defender Phil Jones is looking to make his way back into first-team plans by requesting to play for the club’s Under 23s team, according to reports.

The 29-year-old has reportedly asked interim manager Ralf Rangnick to make him available for the youth team’s game with Chelsea on Friday in order to build his match sharpness.

Jones, who hasn’t played for United’s first team since their 6-0 away win over Tranmere Rovers in January 2020, has impressed the German boss with his performances in training, according to The Athletic. As a result, Rangnick named the defender on the bench for their last two league games.

Phil Jones of Manchester United is tackled by Corey Blackett-Taylor of Tranmere Rovers Credit: Getty

The centre-back will be hoping this commitment will further impress his manager and earn a future opportunity in the senior team, or put his name in the shop window for potential suitors.

As previously reported by The Sun, there are believed to be around 13 clubs interested in the 29-year-old’s signature, with Watford and Newcastle United apparently wanting him on loan for the remainder of the season.

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Plagued with injuries

Jones has been hampered with injuries since joining the Red Devils from Blackburn Rovers in 2011, with former manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer explaining the extent the defender has gone through in the last couple of years alone.

Speaking on the club’s website in August, Solskjaer said: “Phil has had a horrible 18-19 months and probably a year before that as well with injuries.

“Phil is a no fuss, get-on-with-it type of guy. I know more than anyone how it feels to be injured at that stage.

“He’s still not 30 years of age. Since I came here, he’s battled with this knee injury, he’s put his body on the line, every single training session, every single game.”

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United Under-23s match against Chelsea takes place at Leigh Sports Village on Friday. Kick-off is 7pm.