At one stage Manchester United centre-back Phil Jones looked set for a move to to France towards the end of the January transfer window.

The 29-year-old was linked with a shock Ligue 1 loan move to relegation battling Bordeaux, but he turned the French outfit down, according to the Athletic.

The England international was pictured training at Carrington yesterday as Ralf Rangnick’s side prepare for Friday night’s FA Cup clash against Middlesbrough.

Although a domestic move didn’t come to fruition for Jones last month, Leicester City did consider making an approach for the former Blackburn Rovers man.

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As per the Athletic, Brendan Rodgers’ side were looking for a centre half to come in on loan during the winter window.

But the Athletic stated: “Phil Jones was mooted to Leicester as a possibility but it was quickly decided he was the wrong profile of defender they were pursuing.

“They wanted a younger, athletic, defender, more in the style of Wesley Fofana.

“There were also concerns about Jones’ injury record, considering Leicester have plenty of their own problems with absentees.”

What now for Phil Jones?

Manchester United Training Session
Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images

Friday night’s FA Cup clash against Chris Wilder’s Boro represents Jones’ best chance of action in the short-term.

But with Rangnick likely to have Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof, Raphael Varane and Eric Bailly to choose from, Jones faces a battle to get on the bench, let alone the starting line-up.

His return from the wilderness against Wolves last month, alongside Varane, came about due to Rangnick not having Maguire, Lindelof or Bailly available.

Barring another centre-back crisis, it’s hard to see where Jones’ next Manchester United appearance will come from.

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Jones turns 30 this month and with his contract expiring in 18 months time he needs to get back playing regular first team football.

He’s unlikely to get any game time over the next four months at first team level and may have to drop down to the under-23s, where he has already made three appearances this season, to maintain match fitness.

As admirably as he performed on his return to the United first team against Wolves, his affiliation with the Reds is likely to come to an end in the summer.

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