United confident of finalising Jones transfer

Manchester United insisted last night that the £16 million transfer of Blackburn's Phil Jones will go through despite suggestions that Rovers are trying to extract a larger fee.

United believe that a clause in his contract meant he was for sale atthat figure, not merely available for discussions, and that he was delighted to join them despite interest from Liverpool and Arsenal.

"There are no serious problems and it should go through early this week," a club official said. Initial negotiations were concluded in something of a rush because the player had been encouraged by England's Under-21 manager Stuart Pearce to sort the matter out before joining the squad in Denmark for the European U21 Championship.

That was done in similar circumstances by Jordan Henderson, who flew out with Jones on Wednesday night after completing his even more expensive move from Sunderland to Liverpool. Yesterday Pearce denied any suggestion that Jones, at 19 one of the youngest players in the squad, would be distracted by his transfer not having been officially completed.

"His mind is right, 100 per cent, because he's such a sturdy fella," Pearce said. "Him and Jordan Henderson spoke with me early in the week and wanted to get any bits and pieces finalised. I quite understood that and because I know the individuals and how strong they are mentally, it was no problem.

"I've had a chat with 'Jonah' and everything will be sorted out with respect to his future. The one thing that will help his future is playing well here for the Under-21s and he knows that."

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