"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.
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."