If it wasn’t clear from David Moyes’ relentless pursuit of Leighton Baines during the summer and all of the transfer betting and speculation that went alongside it, Patrice Evra’s time at Old Trafford appears to be drawing to its conclusion. The Frenchman’s contract expires next summer and his recent metaphorical shrug of the shoulders when asked whether he was bothered about leaving the champions probably tells you all you need to know.
While he has never been the most well-liked left-back in United history (take a bow Denis Irwin) Evra is given plenty of respect by the fans, who realise at one time he was arguably the best left-back In the world. Between 2007 and 2010 there were few full-backs who were in better form than Evra, whose performances began to tail off after France’s spectacular implosion at the 2010 World Cup.
Time has begun to catch up with the 32-year-old and he now makes more headlines for his off-field antics than he does for his work in the United backline. His recent branding of four French TV pundits, including Bixente Lizarazu, as ‘tramps’ will do little to convince Moyes and United he is worthy of a new deal.
However, that situation could change if United are unable to sign a replacement for Evra, with Baines and Fabio Coentrão still reportedly on Moyes’ wishlist. At 25, perhaps Portugal international Coentrão would be the better option as Evra’s long-term successor, with Baines set to turn 29 in December.
As for Evra, a return to Monaco, who are now 4/1 with Paddy Power to win the French league, looks to be the most likely outcome were he to walk away from Old Trafford at the end of the season. He spent four years with the principality outfit before moving to United and they have already proven to be keen on resigning former players after bringing Eric Abidal back to the Stade Louis II in the summer.
Judging by the start to the season, the time has come for a change in certain positions for United and Evra is making it easy for Moyes to justify his seemingly inevitable decision to send him on his way.