Dalglish faces fight to land Jones from Blackburn
Liverpool will have to overcome interest from Arsenal and Manchester United and pay in excess of £17m to sign Blackburn defender Phil Jones.
Jones (19) has held talks with Blackburn manager Steve Kean and confirmed his determination to consider opportunities to play for a bigger club.
The defender, who signed a new five-year contract in January, is unlikely to submit a formal transfer request and Blackburn's wealthy Indian owners, Venkys, could yet veto any attempts by Jones to leave the club.
However, with Kean aware of Jones' potential, the Blackburn manager is ready to demand more than the club record fee of £17m, received from Chelsea and Manchester City for Damien Duff and Roque Santa Cruz respectively.
Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish is eager to sign the centre-half, who can also play in midfield, before he takes part in the European U-21 Championship finals in Denmark, which begins this weekend.
But, with Arsenal and United also expressing an interest, and Chelsea inquiring about the teenager during the January transfer window, Liverpool have been told they have no chance of persuading Blackburn to sell their prized asset before the end of the week.
Blackburn rejected a £10m offer from Arsenal for Jones last August, but Arsene Wenger is still closely monitoring the player and it is understood that the teenager favours a move to the Emirates ahead of a transfer to Liverpool.
United's interest dates back more than 12 months and their ability to offer players -- such as Wes Brown, John O'Shea and Darron Gibson -- as part of any deal, plus the possibility of a season-long loan back involving Jones, would give them an advantage. (© Daily Telegraph, London)