Rio Ferdinand today leapt to the defence of Manchester United team-mate Jonny Evans, insisting the Northern Ireland star still has a big future with the Premiership champions.
Evans has been cast as the sacrificial figure in a supposed future Old Trafford defensive pairing of new signing Phil Jones and Chris Smalling.
But Ferdinand insists Evans (23) is still very much an integral part of the present set-up.
“You can't discount Jonny,” rapped Ferdinand ahead of the second game of United’s US Tour against Seattle Sounders, kick off 3.00am UK time tomorrow morning.
“It's a bit out of order that people have been saying it's definitely going to be Chris and Phil as the potential pairing of the future.
“Jonny's also one of the most talented central defenders in Great Britain. I'm sure all three of them will be battling it out in the future to play in the centre of defence.”
As Ferdinand painted his picture of a united front, in sharp contrast rivals Manchester City were plunged into further turmoil over want-away Carlos Tevez as his proposed £40million move to Brazilian outfit Corinthians collapsed.
City thought a deal had been agreed for their skipper to get his wish and go back to South America to be closer to his wife Vanesa and two young daughters.
However, the Brazilian transfer window closed today with a bombshell from Corinthians as they announced they had run out of time to complete the negotiations, leaving the future of Tevez, and City’s plans to use the cash for more signings, back up in the air.