Jonny Evans aiming to save Manchester United millions

Manchester United's Jonny Evans is hoping to save the club millions in the transfer market - by becoming a mainstay of the defence this season.

Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdiand - who forged a fearsome partnership during their years together at Old Trafford - have both left the club in the close season.

Vidic has joined Inter Milan, while veteran centre-back Ferdinand joined former boss Harry Redknapp at Queens Park Rangers, and United currently only have Evans, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones as the club's senior defenders.

New manager Louis van Gaal's insistence on playing a 3-5-2 formation for the current season has only highlighted their lack of options at the back further, and the Red Devils have been linked with a £16 million move for Borussia Dortmund's World Cup winner Mats Hummels.

However, Evans is looking to become Van Gaal's main man at the back this coming season, which would in turn, save the United hierarchy some funds in the transfer market.

Speaking on their pre-season tour of the United States, the Northern Irishman told The Guardian: "I don’t see this talk that we do have to sort of step up. There is myself Phil Jones and Chris Smalling [included] with the term ‘stepping up’ but for the last six or seven years it has not been a case of not wanting to step up; the aim is always to be the best that you can.

“If you look at Nemanja Vidic, he did not join us until he was 25 or 26. I think I have benefited playing with Rio and Nemanja for a long time, and Wes Brown before that, and learning a lot through my career. It is a big time in my career now."

Despite the concerns over the lack of defenders - something which Van Gaal himself has voiced - Evans believes that the lack of numbers are not as big an issue as some have tried to portray.

“People get obsessed with formations over whether it is a three or a five but the philosophy stays the same when you are playing out from the back," he added. "A lot of teams have three at the back and two full-backs go high, and that’s how they play out. When they defend, an extra midfielder will come deeper and play in front of a back four. The advantage is you have five defenders."

United have so far won both their games in the International Champions Cup, a 3-2 victory over Roma was followed up with a penalty-shootout win over Inter Milan, and the Red Devils meet Real Madrid on Saturday.

Victory in their Group A clash could see them meet arch-rivals Liverpool in Monday's final, although Los Blancos could have ex-United great Cristiano Ronaldo in their side following his recovery from a knee injury which blighted his World Cup campaign for Portugal.

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