Sam Allardyce targets a reunion with Manchester United centre-back Phil Jones
Sam Allardyce is targeting a reunion with Manchester United defender Phil Jones as he looks to strengthen his Everton defence for next season.
Jones has struggled with hamstring injuries this season and hasn't appeared in Jose Mourinho's matchday squad since the 1-0 defeat by Newcastle in February, missing the last six games in all competitions.
The England international will have just one year left on his contract come the summer, and according to The Times Allardyce is ready to test United's resolve to keep hold of the centre back, if he is still in charge at Goodison Park.
The 63-year-old handed Jones his professional debut at Blackburn Rovers in 2009 and would gladly hand the 26-year-old a shot at regular first-team football.
Things are a little cramped in the Old Trafford dressing room when it comes to central defenders, with Chirs Smalling, Marcos Rojo, Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof all vying with Jones for the two available positions.
However, he had been in the process of making one of the slots his own this season, starting 21 of the 22 games he has been available for.
While his contract is up in 2019, United do have the option to extend it by a year, which could drive his price up.
Everton do have room for reinforcements at the back having conceded 49 goals in just 30 matches this season.
Ashley Williams has come in for criticism from pundits for his recent performances, most notably against Burnley where the Wales captain was sent off as they surrendered the lead before going down 2-1.
Everton spent big on Will Keane last summer and will be looking for a more reliable foil for their £30million investment.