Manchester United have confirmed that Phil Jones will leave the club this summer.
Jones’ contract will expire at the end of the season and, as expected, the centre-back will leave Old Trafford after an injury-hit 12-year-old.
The defender joined United from Blackburn and won the Premier League in 2012-13, Sir Alex Ferguson’s final season in charge.
He made 229 appearances for United, scoring six goals, and made 27 appearances for England.
His final appearance for United came in a 3-0 win over Brentford at the end of last season, with his hopes of making an appearance this year dashed by fitness issues.
He will leave after winning the league title, the FA Cup and the Europa League.
Speaking after his departure was officially confirmed, Jones, 31, opened up about his efforts to return to the first team and thanked the fans for their “incredible” reaction.
Jones told United’s media: “It’s been very difficult, the last two years. There’s no denying that. There’s no hiding from that.
My family has been very instrumental in keeping me on the straight and narrow and keeping me focused, to try to get fit and to try to play more.
“You know, I missed playing soccer. I missed that. You grow up playing soccer and all you want to do is play soccer.
All I’ve known, from such a young age, is to do what I love to do for a living. I was fortunate enough to do so, though not as often as I could have hoped.
He then added, “You worked tirelessly hard. I literally left no stone unturned. I’ve tried to get back as fast as I can, every time I’ve been out in the past two years.
I think the most important thing for me is the Wolverhampton game [his return from injury last season], when I returned. That was just a moment I will never forget.
I get goosebumps now, thinking about it. I mean, I worked really hard to get to that point of fitness.
That was a huge, massive moment in my career and the fans, that day, were just amazing. The love they showed me for that game, the passion they showed, was exciting. I cannot thank them enough for that.
“They have been a constant support throughout my time here.”
Jones plans to take some time away from the game before assessing his next steps.
More to track.