CHICAGO, Sporting Alert – Manchester United are set to drop Phil Jones for the opening Premier League game of the season against Tottenham on 8 August.
The Red Devils manager Louis van Gaal stated before the Barcelona game that team he puts out against the reigning Champions League holders would most likely be the one he starts against Spurs in the Premier League opener.
The Dutchman kept almost the same lineup in the 2-0 defeat to Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday night, with only Bastian Schweinsteiger coming in the Morgan Schneiderlin.
Jones started alongside Daley Blind at the heart of the defense, but the England international was far from impressive, with his error late in the first half contributed to Zlatan Ibrahimovic scoring the second goal for PSG.
After the game van Gaal hinted that Blind will keep his place and play with Luke Shaw on the left, while adding he has been pleased with the performances of new right-back Matteo Darmian.
There was no mention of Phil Jones, but the veteran manager stated that he will be evaluating the “right central defensive position” before the season opener.
“I think that I shall play Shaw with Daley Blind in the left central position,” said van Gaal after the defeat to PSG.
“The right central defensive position I have to consider.
“But I am very pleased with the performance of Matteo Darmian.”
The comments from van Gaal will almost certain to have Jones on the edge, as the England international never really looked comfortable against PSG.
In fact, there were times during the game where he seems to have switched off defensively and one of them cost Manchester United.
Van Gaal, although praising the current group of centre-back at the club, knows that if Man United are going to challenge for the English Premier League this season, then he must strengthen his centre-half positions.
Man United tried all summer to sign Sergio Ramos, but it looks like the Spanish international is well set to stay at Real Madrid, with reports claiming that he is about to sign a contract extension that will keep him at the La Liga club until 2020.
Valencia’s Nicolas Otamendi is another man heavily linked with a move to the club, but van Gaal has been distancing himself from the situation.