Phil Jones. Chelsea. I thought we were done with this rumour like three years ago, when the young defender, so full of promise as a Blackburn Rovers teenager, made the move to Manchester United. But apparently we're not -- at least according to the Irish Independent.
It's difficult to know what to make of this rumour, both at the sporting level and the sourcing one. The Independent claim that Jones has been linked with a 'shock move' to Chelsea, but as far as I can tell they're the ones doing the linking in the first place, and there's not even an author associated with the article. In other words, we're on dubious grounds already.
As far as the sporting implications go, I'd imagine Jones is being linked to a Chelsea switch for much the same reasons as Barcelona's Alex Song was last week. We're constantly being told that David Luiz is leaving, and so folks are desperately trying to throw similarly versatile players our way and see if anything sticks.
I like Phil Jones more than most people, although he clearly has failed to live up to his promise thus far. But he's just turned 22, so he still has plenty of time left to grow, and he's been good enough to play for both Manchester United and England in a wide variety of positions. There'd be no harm taking a punt on him, but only if he came cheaply.
Would he? Probably not, because this switch wouldn't make any sort of sense for United, and the only way I could see this happening is if Jones -- who has two years left on the contract he signed in summer of 2011 -- is trying to force his way out of the club for a raise. Perhaps the sanest interpretation of this 'link' is that he's in the midst of negotiating a new deal and is trying to get as much leverage on his current club as possible.