It must be a slightly nervous time to be a Manchester United squad player. A chill wind is blowing, bringing rumours of clearouts, of squad refreshment, of six, seven, eight new faces coming over the summer. There can't be too many of the squad delighted with their performances this season, and rightly so, which means there can't be too many feeling totally secure in their futures.
Well, one man who won't have to worry about any of that is Phil Jones, who according to the Guardian is to be offered a large shiny new contract. Jones is apparently seen as vital to the future of United, and since Nemanja Vidic is definitely leaving and Rio Ferdinand looks likely to follow him, may even get to be vital in his preferred position of central defender. Nothing's been signed yet, naturally, but no problems are foreseen. His current deal expires in two years time.
Jones, still only 22, is likely to make his 100th appearance for United before the end of the season, a number that perhaps owes as much to his versatility as his precocity. Still, at times it looks as though there's a very, very good footballer in there somewhere; one who might even go on to be United captain one day. Other times, of course, he looks like he's put his boots on the wrong feet. Ah, football.