Juventus ready to raid Manchester United for vice-captain Evra
Italian giants Juventus have made an approach for Manchester United veteran Patrice Evra, enquiring about his availability, despite the Frenchman only having recently signed a one-year contract extension at Old Trafford.
Evra joined the Red Devils, who are 9/2 to win the Premier League, from Monaco for £5.5m in 2006, and is considered one of Sir Alex Ferguson’s best ever bargain transfer deals, having made 379 appearances for the prestigious Manchester club.
After seven-and-a-half seasons of service, Evra, who represented his country at the World Cup, was expected to be one of the candidates for the United captaincy, following Nemanja Vidic’s departure to Inter Milan.
The former Red Devils’ Serbian skipper was a tremendous leader, and it is thought that United retained Evra to provide vital experience and continuity in the dressing room, with the Frenchman set to mentor new signing Luke Shaw.
Whilst no offer from Juventus has been officially received, it is reported that a £2m deal could be in the works, with the Old Lady also rumoured to have long-standing interest in Red Devils winger Nani.
United’s are supposedly keen to capture Juventus superstar Arturo Vidal, leading to speculation that the potential transfer of Evra could be a sweetener to convince the Serie A side to part with one of their most prized players.
New Red Devils boss Louis van Gaal will certainly be looking to add to further quality to United’s most problematic area, midfield, despite having already signed Spanish maestro Ander Herrera.
If Evra was to depart for Italy, Van Gaal has a ready-made, if young, replacement waiting in the wings, after securing the services of former Southampton left back Shaw for £27m. Whilst 33-year-old Evra was expected to help ease his teenage counterpart into the team, a move to Juventus could extend his career.
The news of interest in United’s vice-captain arrives as the Red Devils are rumoured to be recruiting Ricardo Rodriguez. Media outlets in Germany have been reporting that United are aiming to sign the Switzerland star, who plies his trade for Bundesliga outfit Wolfsburg.
A move for the 21-year-old, who performed impressively at the World Cup, would surely spell the end of Evra’s stint in Manchester, with Rodriguez instead providing competition and back-up for Shaw.
Whilst hoovering up two of the most highly-rated young left backs in Europe may seem like overkill, Van Gaal’s tactical systems usually rely on dynamic full backs flying down the wing.
Over the course of a long, strenuous Premier League campaign, it makes sense for United to have strength in depth in a position that could be integral to Van Gaal’s plans. Rafael and Antonio Valencia are, meanwhile, likely to fight it out for a starting position on the right-hand side.
It could be more beneficial, however, for the Red Devils, who are odds-on at 8/15 to finish in the top four, to utilise the experience of Evra for another season, before pinning all their hopes on youth.