Newcastle United-linked defender confirms free transfer exit from Champions League outfit

Manchester United defender Phil Jones has confirmed his Old Trafford exit.

Manchester United and former England defender Phil Jones has declared he will leave Old Trafford this summer when his Red Devils’ contract comes to an end.

The exit of Jones, once heavily linked with a move to Newcastle United when Steve Bruce was the manager, brings to an end an era, with the former Blackburn Rovers man one of only two players remaining at the club, signed by former boss Sir Alex Ferguson.

David De Gea is the only other player in the current playing squad signed by Ferguson.

Speaking in a statement released to social media, Jones said: “My time at United has been nothing short of incredible. To wear this shirt just once, to wear this badge and represent everyone associated with it, was an honour.

“I wish I could have played more. I wish I could have given more to the many squads I played alongside. I will say from the bottom of my heart, I did everything I could. I did everything the medical team asked of me.”

Jones has very much been on the periphery at Man United for a number of years, and has played no part in this season’s battle with the likes of the Magpies for a spot in the Champions League for next season.

The 31-year-old’s last appearance for his club came back on May 2, 2022, where he was brought off the bench in a 3-0 win over Brentford in the Premier League.

The statement reads on: “I lived a dream at the biggest club in the world. I played for England in major tournaments. At United, I won trophies, most notably the Premier League under Sir Alex, in his final season.

“I wish Erik [ten Hag] and his staff, and all the players, the best of luck for the future. He’s building something here and I’ll be watching, supporting and hoping, more than anyone, that he can continue the progress we can all see already.

“I want to say thank you to everyone who has helped me at Manchester United, where I’ve made friends for life.”