Sir Alex Ferguson's 10-year-old dream could finally be realised on Monday evening when Manchester United take on Wolves.
Ralf Rangnick's side are going through something of a centre-back crisis with Eric Bailly, Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof all potentially out for Monday's fixture.
Only Bailly is touch and go, and this could present forgotten United star Phil Jones with a rare chance to make an appearance for the Red Devils.
Jones hasn't received a Premier League cap since January 2020, but he could be set to partner Raphael Varane against Wolves.
And that partnership is sure to bring a smile to the face of Sir Alex Ferguson, who wanted to deploy them together in 2011.
Ferguson had been desperate to sign Varane from Lens.
“In 2011, I hurtled down on the train from Euston to Lille to sign the young French defender Raphael Varane," Ferguson recalled in his book.
“David Gill was getting into the finer points of the contract with Lens, Varane’s club, when Zinedine Zidane got wind of this and somehow scooped him up for Real Madrid from under our noses.
“I don’t think Jose Mourinho, who was managing Real Madrid, had even seen Varane play.”
Would United's fortunes have changed if Ferguson had signed Varane in 2011? Let us know in the comments section
At that same time, Ferguson had been placing the hopes of United's future defence on Jones.
Speaking after their 12/13 top division triumph Sir Alex said: "Jones, arguably the way he is looking, could be our best ever player.
"I think Jones may be one of the best players we have ever had, no matter where we play him.
"At 21 years of age, he is going to be a phenomenal player. I think he can play anywhere on the pitch.
"He has such a massive influence, with his instinct and reading of the game. He has a drive about him."
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However, Ferguson's dream was never realised.
Varane moved to Real Madrid, where he became a key player in their numerous Champions League wins, while Jones was gradually phased out of the United squad due to injuries.
But Monday evening could prove to be a partnership 10 years in the making.
Jones has impressed Rangnick in training over the Christmas period, and he has been on the bench of late.
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