They have been at the heart of Manchester United’s recent return to form but England defensive duo Phil Jones and Chris Smalling could soon be on their way out of Old Trafford.

Both men will see their contracts with the club expire at the end of next season and Sportsmail understands that talks on new deals are yet to be opened with either.

United are thought to be relaxed about the situation but will be reluctant to lose the pair for nothing.

Both Phil Jones and Chris Smalling are out of contract at Manchester United at the end of next season

Phil Jones celebrates Manchester United’s victory over Liverpool – but could be heading for the exit door

Both Jones and Smalling have seen their Manchester United careers hampered by injuries

The lack of activity on their behalf may come as a surprise given recent form.

Jones, 23, and Smalling, 25, formed a resolute centre-back pairing in United’s 3-0 home victory over Tottenham and 2-1 defeat of Liverpool at Anfield – regarded as the club’s best performances under Louis van Gaal.

Their confident outings alongside each other have reignited long-held hopes that they could form a long-term partnership at the heart of United’s defence for years to come.

But it would appear the club is in no rush to tie up their futures.

The pair are two of a number of high-profile players whose contracts expire at the same time including goalkeeper David de Gea, converted wingback Ashley Young and striker Robin van Persie.

Both Jones and Smalling were billed as being the centre back pairing for club and country for years to come

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