Alex Ferguson has admitted that the days of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic as Manchester United's first choice centre half pairing could be over.

Ferguson raised a few eyebrows leaving Vidic out of the Real Madrid game on Wednesday but Johnny Evans proved a capable deputy in his absence.

In an interview with The Sun, Ferguson said: "I had my doubts about whether I was doing the right thing or not because Vidic was fantastic against Everton.

"But three days to my mind was a risk. It would have been the same for Ferdinand."

With Ferdinand's back problems, amongst other injuries and Vidic's recent long term knee problems it looks like places in the heart of United's defence could be up for grabs with Evans currently in pole position.

Ferguson added: "Jonny has emerged as a real top defender and his form has been fantastic."

It could now be the end for the centre back duo as a partnership and with the emerging Chris Smalling and Phil Jones also in the running for places, alternating the pair could be Ferguson's plan for the rest of the season.

Ferdinand was also superb against Madrid so it looks like England's loss has been United's gain.


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