Manchester United have won the race to sign Blackburn's England under-21 defender Phil Jones in a deal understood to be worth £16m.
Manchester United have won the race to sign Blackburn's England under-21 defender Phil Jones in a deal understood to be worth £16m.REUTERS

Manchester United are set to complete the £16 million transfer of Blackburn's highly rated defender Phil Jones, reports said.

The centre-back, 19, will complete a medical at United's training ground before signing a five-year contract.

Jones made his Premier League debut in March last year and played 28 times last season in an injury hit campaign.

Sir Alex Ferguson is believed to have been ready to wait until next summer to sign Jones but his hand was forced as Liverpool looked poised to complete a deal on Wednesday.

United have been interested in the player for more than 12 months and Jones apparently impressed Ferguson during the 0-0 draw between the two clubs in April 2010.

With long-term fitness concerns surrounding Rio Ferdinand, Ferguson has been eager to identify a central defender to become Chris Smalling's long-term partner at Old Trafford.

Jones, who can also play as a defensive midfielder, has been tipped by many as a long-term successor to England captain John Terry in the national side.