According to Arsenal blog We are the North Bank, and verified on Twitter by Express journalist Matt Law, Arsenal had a £16m+ bid accepted last night for Blackburn’s Phil Jones.
While many would question if a 19 year old, relatively inexperienced centre-half would have been the answer to Arsenal’s defensive issues, it seems Arsene Wenger was ready to break his transfer record for the England U21 international.
It seems a combination of location and United’s standing in the game sealed the deal for Alex Ferguson. Law said “[Arsenal] were prepared to offer bigger wages than United. Jones chose United because of north-west connection and footballing reasons. Wenger did all he could”.
At the very least it signals that the club are prepared to spend serious money this summer. Jones’ departure from Blackburn will certainly complicate a move for Christopher Samba but Wenger may well now test Bolton’s desire to keep hold of Gary Cahill.
It’s thought the Trotters have put a £17m price tag on his head but with just 12 months of his contract left to run the financial realities of the situation may force their hand should Wenger decide Cahill is a player he wants.