On that topic, the pundit spent some time talking about the possibility of Derby signing Manchester United centre-back Phil Jones.
This comes after it’s been reported that Red Devils legend Wayne Rooney, who is now the manager of Derby County, is keen to link back up with former teammate Jones, with it having been claimed that Manchester United would be willing to part ways with the ‘outcast.’
While discussing this potential deal on this podcast, Steele shared that while he believes there would be “a risk factor” for Derby with signing Jones, in that the 28-year-old has played no competitive club football this term, he believes that the £5.4m-rated man could prove to be a “fantastic asset” for the East Midlands club, if they can get him to Pride Park.
Steele said: “Phil’s not played a lot of football, you know, he’s been injured and I’m not too sure how much football he’s played and so there might be a risk factor in terms of that.
“[A] fully fit Phil Jones, how I remembered him when I worked there, would be a fantastic asset. He can play full-back, he can play midfield, he can play centre-half, no problem at all.
“I think, again, that would be a loan deal – I think that might be one that you would look at because he would certainly give you cover right across the back four and in the midfield as well.”
Could Derby sign Jones?
TIF Thoughts on what Steele said about Jones joining Derby County…
Given that he has played no club football this term and Manchester United are said to be happy to loan him out amid this interest from Rooney, perhaps this deal isn’t out of the realm of possibility.
However, it’s been claimed that Jones’ £120k-per-week wages would be ‘an issue’ for the Rams with regard to getting this deal done, and it is worth pointing out that Derby have had problems with paying players’ wages of late, so perhaps that’s not very hard to believe.
That said, if Derby’s transfer embargo is lifted before the January transfer window shuts, then maybe this is a deal that they could get over the line, especially given Rooney’s Old Trafford legacy and the fact that it has been suggested that Manchester United would be prepared to pay ‘a large chunk’ of Jones’ wages if they were to send him out on loan.
So, if the Rams’ transfer embargo is lifted, maybe this potentially “fantastic” addition should be one to keep an eye on for supporters of the East Midlands club.