Grimsby Town are set to make former Manchester United and Burnley midfielder David Jones their first summer signing of 2019, following the player’s depature from Championship side Sheffield Wednesday.
The 34-year-old was released by Owls’ boss Steve Bruce at the end of the 2018/19 season, after making just two appearances for the South Yorkshire club during the campaign.
Jones is familiar to Mariners’ chief Michael Jolley from the pair’s time at Burnley together. The Southport-born midfielder made 124 league appearances in three years at Turf Moor.
The player fits the bill for Jolley, who is looking for an experienced midfielder to fill the void after John Welsh was released from his Blundell Park deal in March.
Jones joined Manchester United when he was just ten-years-old and worked his way through the ranks at Old Trafford, captaining the Red Devils’ FA Youth Cup winning side of 2002/03.
The player made his United debut as a substitute on 1 December 2004, coming on as a 79th-minute replacement for Kleberson during a 1-0 win for Sir Alex Ferguson’s side.
Jones’ full debut for the Old Trafford club came in a shock 0-0 draw against then-Conference side Exeter City in the FA Cup Third Round on 8th January 2005.
Loan spells at Preston North End, NEC Nijmegen and Derby County followed, before the Rams made their move for the midfielder permanent in January 2007 – Jones sealing a £1-million switch to Pride Park, which Ferguson described in some quarters as ‘too cheap’.
Jones helped the Rams win promotion to the Premier League at the end of the campaign, playing 15 times the following season and scoring once, before a £1.2-million move to Wolverhampton Wanderers.
He spent three seasons at Molineux, again winning promotion to the Premier League, and netting eight times in his 76 outings for the Midlands club.
Two seasons at Wigan Athletic followed between 2011 and 2013, as well as a loan spell at Blackburn Rovers. The Ewood Park club looked to make a permanent move for the midfielder, but he surprisingly opted to move to their Lancashire rivals Burnley.
Jones won promotion twice to the Premier League during his three full seasons at Turf Moor, moving to Hillsborough at the start of 2016/17, after making one Premier League appearance for the Clarets during their opening day defeat to Swansea City.
The former Manchester United youngster was a regular starter for the Owls during his first two seasons at Hillsborough, but struggled with injury at the start of the 2018/19 campaign, being restricted to just two appearances – a 2-0 home defeat to Wolves in the League Cup, and a 1-1 league draw against West Brom just after Christmas.
And Wednesday fans expressed their displeasure with the player’s performance during an under-23 game against bitter Steel City rivals, Sheffield United in September.
Jones is expected to sign as a Mariner as early as next week. The player has already been seen at Blundell Park, ahead of the potential move, as Jolley looks to move quickly to assemble his squad ahead of the 2019/20 season.