Nemanja Vidic believes the future of Manchester United's central defence is secure with Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans ready to fill the void.
Vidic is joining Inter Milan while his long-standing partner Rio Ferdinand has also announced his exit this week, leaving the England duo and Northern Ireland international as the three remaining senior centre-backs at the club. The Serbian has great faith in the ability of Jones and Smalling, both of whom are included in Roy Hodgson's World Cup squad, and also Evans, who will aim to be fit for United's summer tour.
"I think it’s up to the new manager to decide but what I have to say is I have been training and playing with these guys and they definitely have all the ability they need to become top players," Vidic stressed to ManUtd.com. "I think Chris Smalling and Phil Jones, first of all, are people who are attracting a lot of interest here because they are national-team players and the future of English football, not just Manchester United.
"They definitely have the physical strength, pace and technique to play for this club and I think now is the time for them to step up next year and to maybe form the new partnership with Jonny Evans. I believe those three have to be the players who are carrying on and becoming the United defenders for the next seven or eight years. I think they have that capability and the experience to step up."