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LINKS: Phil Jones is fit again

Phizza (?) is available to face Bournemouth, Mourinho almost went to PSG instead of United, and Rashford isn’t getting the summer off.

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Manchester United v Arsenal - Premier League
Peak Phil Jones
Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

It feels like ages since United haven’t had a midweek game, but not to worry: The Busby Babe is still here to provide compelling content, even when there’s nothing much going on.

Phil Jones is fit again.

Speaking at yet another of these slightly embarrassing sponsorship events (honestly, get a load of this gibberish), Phil Jones revealed that he has been training for a few days now, and is available to face Bournemouth on Saturday. Given that both Chris Smalling and Eric Bailly have started looked borderline calamitous in recent matches, Jones’ return to fitness could provide a welcome boost to the team’s defensive stability. And no, I can’t believe that I’ve written that last part either. We live in amazing times.

We almost lost out on Mourinho.

According to the official Jorge Mendes mouthpiece and newly-minted Top Red, Duncan Castles, Jose Mourinho came closer than we realize to joining Paris Saint-Germain instead of United. In typical propagandist fashion, Castles would have us believe that only the complexities of the French tax system prevented Ed Woodward’s dilly-dallying from causing us to miss out on signing Mourinho. In totally unrelated news, I expect Mourinho’s agent will be sitting down with the club in the coming months to negotiate a contract extension.

No rest for the Rashford.

Over on ESPN, Mark Ogden is reporting that England manager Gareth Southgate is considering allowing Marcus Rashford to be selected for England’s U-21 friendlies this month, with an eye on his potential participation in the European U-21 Championships in Poland this summer. Presumably, playing England’s most promising player in a tournament that will do nothing for his development is supposed to be taken as a sign that England is taking youth development seriously. Mourinho thinks it makes no sense, and said so back in October.