Phil Jones to become a FREE AGENT this summer after being left off retained list

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Phil Jones is battling to save his playing career as he prepares to leave Manchester United after 12 years at Old Trafford.

Jones has been left off the club’s retained list, which will be released shortly, and will become a free agent when his contract runs out on June 30.

The 31-year-old defender hasn’t played for nearly 12 months and has made only five appearances in the last three-and-a-half years due to chronic knee problems.

Jones was left out of United’s squad this season and has not even been able to train under Erik ten Hag since the Dutchman took over in June.

The former England international must now decide whether to quit or try and revive his career elsewhere.

Jones, who was linked with a move to Bordeaux last summer, is only likely to be offered a pay-as-you-play contract due to his lengthy lay-off.

He is the longest-serving player on the books at United, having joined from Blackburn Rovers for £16.5million in June 2011 just two weeks before goalkeeper David de Gea.

Sir Bobby Charlton once compared Jones to Duncan Edwards, and in 2013 Sir Alex Ferguson said he could be United’s ‘best ever player’.

He helped United to the Premier League title that year – one of three major trophies he won at Old Trafford.

The defender made a total of 229 appearances for the club, as well as winning 27 England caps.

However, a cartilage problem in his right knee dating back to Jones’ time at Blackburn has severely limited his involvement in recent years despite two operations.

There is understood to be a lot of sympathy for Jones among the United squad, and the club will pay tribute to him when his departure is confirmed.

Axel Tuanzebe and Ethan Galbraith are two of the other notable omissions from the retained list.

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