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Stoke hope to sign Manchester United defender Phil Jones

Manchester United's Phil Jones v Wigan in pre-season
Image: Manchester United defender Phil Jones is a target for Stoke, says Mark Bowen

Stoke assistant manager Mark Bowen claims the club are hopeful of signing defender Phil Jones from Manchester United in the next week.

The 24-year-old was highly-rated by former United boss Sir Alex Ferguson and current England manager Sam Allardyce when he made his breakthrough at Blackburn, but has been hampered by injuries since his arrival at Old Trafford in June 2011.

Jones only made 10 Premier League appearances in 2015/16, with an ankle problem sustained in January ultimately ending his campaign.

United boss Jose Mourinho appears to be going with Eric Bailly and Daley Blind as his centre-back pairing this season, and with Chris Smalling also in the mix, Jones may be tempted to move on for regular first-team football.

Stoke manager Mark Hughes is keen to land the England international, and Bowen has confirmed a deal could materialise.

Stoke management duo Mark Bowen (left) and Mark Hughes
Image: Stoke management duo Mark Bowen (left) and Mark Hughes

"I remember Sam Allardyce talking about him when he broke through and said he was the new Duncan Edwards," Bowen said in the Stoke Sentinel.

"He did well as a youngster, got the big move, but it hasn't worked out for him there. I don't know how close we are or how far down the line it's gone.

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"He's played the majority of his career at centre-half, but in his younger days he went into midfield as well.

"I don't know what's gone wrong, but he's gone from even a player Fergie [Alex Ferguson] was talking about as being someone who could have been one of the greats.

"But we have a bit of reputation for bringing players like that into this set-up and then thriving. Fingers crossed, something may happen."

Jones has won 20 senior caps for his country to date and was a member of Roy Hodgson's squads for Euro 2012 and World Cup 2014.

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