Manchester United looks set for a third major departure from its defense, with Patrice Evra closing in on a move to Juventus. According to reports out of England, the 33-year-old has requested to end his eight-year tenure with the club, with the Italian champions expected to pay $3.4 million to secure his transfer.
Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand hav already left the Red Devils on free transfers (to Inter Milan and Queens Park Rangers, respectively), but having exercised a one-year option on Evra at the end of last season, United appeared intent on keeping the France international. Evra, however, has made it clear he’d like to move for personal reasons, with his wife hoping for a move away from the Manchester area.
On the field, United has already prepared for Evra’s departure, having signed Southampton fullback Luke Shaw earlier this summer. Evra’s place in the dressing room, however, is reported as one of the reasons the Red Devils wanted to extend his stay.
At the close of last season United exercised an option on Evra’s contract to extend his stay at the club for a further year. While the 33-year-old has not made an official transfer request, Evra asked that the United should not stand in his way, a request to which the club have reluctantly acceded.
The left-back has decided that, due to his wife wishing to move away from the area, the time is right to end a United career in which he has won five Premier Leagues, the Champions League and three League Cups.
The Guardian also reports Juventus has offered Evra a two-year deal worth $4.7 million per year.
From both Manchester United and Evra’s points of view, the deal looks like a no-brainer, provided the veteran’s willing to move. While United may have wanted to keep him, that view should have changed knowing Evra wants to go. And for the player, an extra season at good wages playing for a Champions League team makes for an attractive deal.
Not to mention the fact Evra may see more playing time. With Kwadwo Asamosh at left wing back for Juventus, there’s no guarantee Evra would start, but Antonio Conte’s new defender could also be used on the left of Juve’s three-man central defense. At United, not only is Evra highly unlikely to see time in a central pair, but Shaw’s acquisition could outright block him.
With the possible exception of the wages Juventus will pay, it’s a deal that makes sense for all involved. Eight years is a long time, but at this point, it’s time for Evra (and United) to move on.