Manchester United boss talks up Chris Smalling and Phil Jones.
Manchester United boss David Moyes has given a clear indication of his belief Phil Jones' future lies at centre-back.
Not only this, but he hopes a partnership with former England under-21 colleague Chris Smalling can blossom.
Reading between the lines, the duo have a chance to influence Moyes' transfer policy this summer with their performances between now and the end of the season.
He told SkySports: "I think the future will probably be with Jones and Smalling as the two future England centre-backs.
"The two boys today could easily be the two centre-backs for England in the World Cup.
"They will certainly be competing with the other Manchester United centre-backs to start for this club. I've said I wanted to see how they do before the end of the season.
"I will be continuing to use Vidic and Rio and Jonny Evans. We know Vida (Vidic) is moving on so we have to take the chance to look at what the younger ones are capable of."
Moyes knows he has three potential regulars at his disposal in Jones, Smalling, and Evans, if they can show him enough to prove they deserve to become cornerstones in his vision for rebuilding the Red Devils.
If they can, there is a strong chance his transfer policy could be shaped accordingly. United know they need to replace Nemanja Vidic, but could choose a medium-priced experienced player, rather than to blow their cash on a blue-chip superstar like Mats Hummels who would demand an instant starting place.
Such a player would not only hamper any chance of a Smalling-Jones partnership progressing as has been the case to date, but the cost involved would also take away funds which could be used in central midfield or up front if Robin van Persie is moved on.
The name Thomas Vermaelen was mentioned by The Sun over the weekend, which in itself sounds unlikely, but if Moyes is keen on allowing his existing trio to compete and thrive, he may be the sort of experienced and talented player who can be relied upon in the short-term while not overshadowing the potential England international pairing - but not constituting a 'major' game-changer for the club.
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