The Red Devils got the new season off to the worst possible start, as Swansea City left Old Trafford with all three points in a 2-1 win - leaving new manager Louis van Gaal to contemplate making more moves in the transfer market. This week, the Dutchman has added Argentine World Cup star Marcos Rojo from Sporting Lisbon in a bid to improve his defence, following on from the captures of Athletic Bilbao midfielder Ander Herrera and Southampton left back Luke Shaw earlier this summer.
Now, with just 11 days to go until the transfer deadline, van Gaal looks set to ramp up his recruitment drive. Bids for Roma centre back Mehdi Benatia and Fiorentina winger Juan Cuadrado have been speculated for some time, and whilst the focus appears to be on bringing new talent in to the club, United also seem determined to keep hold of some of their current players.
Reports broke earlier this week that the Red Devils had made a new contract offer to midfielder Tom Cleverley, and today it's defender Phil Jones who could be extending his stay at Old Trafford. The England international, 22, arrived at United from Blackburn in 2011, with Sir Alex Ferguson paying a reported £16.5m for the then-19-year-old Rovers star.
His time at United hasn't been quite so successful though, struggling to really nail down a regular spot in the United team as he moved from centre back to right back, and even into midfield in a bid to find his right position.
That versatility could be incredibly valuable under new manager van Gaal - and ultimately a big indication as to why United are offering Jones a new deal and a pay rise.
In van Gaal's 3-4-1-2 system, centre backs are expected to cover the wide area to compensate for the attacking wing backs. We saw it at the World Cup with Bruno Martins Indi and Stefan de Vrij for van Gaal's Netherlands side, and now with Rojo in place on the left, Jones will be asked to do the same thing on the right given his experience at right back and centre back.
Whether that necessarily means he deserves a new contract remains to be seen, but it's a clear statement that the club value Jones highly, and he should see an expanded role in the United team this year. Time to reach that potential, Phil.