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The defender is close to agreeing a £65,000-a-week package that will elevate him into the third tier of Old Trafford earners after an impressive season in Nemanja Vidic's absence

EXCLUSIVE
By Wayne Veysey | Chief Correspondent

Jonny Evans has been offered a new five-year contract by Manchester United, Goal.com has learned.

The defender, who has been the club’s outstanding defender in their climb to the top of the Premier League, is in negotiations with Old Trafford officials about a deal that will run until 2017.

Goal.com understands that talks are at an advanced stage and that Evans will sign the new contract at the end of the season.

The Northern Ireland international, who is currently in the fourth tier of United earners with the likes of the Da Silva twins, Tom Cleverley, Danny Welbeck, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones, will be given a pay rise that will elevate him into the third bracket of players on a package of around £65,000-a-week.

United recognise how important it is to reward Evans, who has two years remaining on his current contract.

The 24-year-old has recovered from his alarming collapse in form last season to become one of the Red Devils' mainstays at the back in the absence of Nemanja Vidic.

The Serbian will not play again this season after suffering cruciate ligament damage in the Champions League defeat at Basel on December 7.

Evans has started 21 of United’s 29 league matches – a record bettered only by Patrice Evra, Nani and Wayne Rooney – and also figured in nine of their European games.

He scored his first goal for the club in 117 appearances, on Sunday, when he steered in United’s first in their 5-0 rout of Wolves at Molineux.

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