Watford failed in deadline day approach for Man Utd defender

Watford made a last-gasp approach for Manchester United defender Phil Jones on deadline day, according to a report.

United man Jones made his long-awaited return to first-team football against Wolves at the start of January but has only featured for 30 minutes since, coming on in extra-time in the loss to Middlesbrough in the FA Cup.

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French side Bordeaux were in talks with United as they looked to make a loan move for the defender but the player turned down the move to remain in Manchester.

Football Insider are now reporting that Watford made a move for the Jones on deadline day as Roy Hodgson looked to improve his squad.

Watford are yet to keep a clean sheet this season and have conceded 40 goals in just 20 games, a record only better than fellow relegation candidates Newcastle and Norwich so improving the defence will be top of Hodgson’s agenda.

The Watford boss is an admirer of Jones having worked with him in the past when he was England manager. Jones was part of Hodgson’s Euro 2012 squad as well as the 2014 World Cup squad.

Hodgson recently became the third man to take charge of Watford this season after Xisco Munoz and Claudio Ranieri as he returns to management with the task of trying to keep the Hornets in the Premier League.

Speaking ahead of his first game in charge against relegation rivals Burnley on Saturday evening, Hodgson admitted he could be accused of not retiring gracefully by taking the Watford job.

“I thought that when I left Crystal Palace that that was the right time to to retire gracefully,” Hodgson told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

“Of course I did say at the time, ‘I’m never going to say never, I’m not going to say something won’t come along that I want to do’.

“But I suppose I could be accused of not retiring gracefully. I can only hope that the job I’ve been brought in to do, by the people who believe I can do it, will be the right one.”

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