You have to feel for Patrice Evra. Manchester United vice-captain, yet the question mark over his future at Manchester United is never-ending. For a good year now, constant links to and reports of failed bids for Everton's Leighton Baines have appeared in the back pages of newspapers. It cannot be easy to keep yourself focused, no matter how professional you are.
Unfortunately, with Evra's contract coming to an end in the summer, the number of rumours are only going to increase as time goes by. Whereas in England, there seems to be a quiet patch surrounding this particular topic, Le10 Sport in France have, out of the blue, started reporting that Evra is prepared to leave on a free at the end of the season.
They seem to believe that the reason behind this is Patrice's search for a new challenge. At 32 years of age, the thought of retiring has most certainly crossed his mind, but when you are still being picked week in week out at one of the best clubs in the world, why not keep on playing?
Contrary to most footballers reaching the end of their career, the prospect of leaving for a big paycheque in an exotic country isn't exactly what Evra is looking for. However, were a big French club (such as Paris Saint-Germain or AS Monaco) to approach him, he might consider a move back to the country where he first arrived aged 3.
If both clubs were to approach the Frenchman, it's fair to say that Monaco would probably be his choice. Paris Saint-Germain already have a trusty left-back in Maxwell, comfortably backed up by exciting prospect Lucas Digne. Monaco, on the other hand, aren't exactly blessed in the left-back department (Kurzawa & Tisserand). The idea of returning to his former club could also affect his decision.
Le10 Sport end the article by saying that even a move back to Italy, where it all started for Evra (a season at Marsala, a Sicilian club, and 3 appearances for Monza), could be on the table.
It seems that Evra's time at Manchester United could be coming to an end. If the current Premier League champions want to keep their vice-captain, they will need to offer him a contract sooner rather than later. Why not give him a one year contract extension, similar to Rio's? It's either that or lose a very loyal servant for free in the summer. The ball is in your court, Manchester United.
Article from Tom Coast. Tom has spent much of his life in France, speaks several languages and helps Sport Witness get real insight on stories from across French football and beyond.
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