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Man Utd defender Phil Jones announces departure from the club after 12 years

Manchester United defender Phil Jones will leave the club when his contract expires this summer.

The 31-year-old has been at United for 12 years but has struggled for playing time. He will take some time to consider whether to keep playing or quit.

United had signed Jones from Blackburn Rovers for £16.5 million in 2011. He was a Swiss army knife for Sir Alex Ferguson.

Jones filled in at central defence, right-back and defensive midfield for United, but he has been battling a chronic knee problem over the past years.

The former England international has only played for United five times in the last three-and-a-half years.

Jones has not played for United’s first team since their 3-0 win over Brentford at the end of last season.

In an emotional open letter, Jones said (via Man United’s official website): “To wear this shirt just once, to wear this badge and represent everyone associated with it, was an honour.

“I wish I could have played more. I wish I could have given more to the many squads I played alongside. I will say, from the bottom of my heart, I did everything I could.

“I did everything the medical team asked of me.

“I never left a stone unturned in the pursuit of living my dream and representing Manchester United on the pitch.

“I spent some difficult days away from my family, rehabilitating and recovering away from everyone, recuperating away from the training pitch, which I was desperate to get back to.

“Sometimes, in life, things happen that we don’t like, but we have to learn to accept it and be at peace in our minds that we did everything we could to overcome the challenges.

“In your career and life, that’s all we can really do.

“The road can be rocky and throw you off track. It’s about getting up from setbacks and keeping going. This is a lesson I’ll push into my next challenges for whatever lies ahead.”

Jones said he would take time off to decide whether to keep playing or end his career permanently.

He also thanked Ten Hag, United’s staff and his teammates, wishing them luck in their endeavours without him.

Jones thanked his family, including his partner and their children, for their continued support.

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