Patrice Evra returns to PL, signs with West Ham

Photo by Laurens Lindhout/Soccrates/Getty Images

LONDON (AP) Former France defender Patrice Evra joined West Ham on a short-term deal on Wednesday, three months after getting fired by Marseille and banned from UEFA competitions for kicking a fan before a Europa League match.

The 36-year-old left back returns to the Premier League after ending a trophy-laden, eight-year spell at Manchester United in 2014. In his last season at United, he played under coach David Moyes – now the manager of West Ham.

Marseille ripped up Evra’s contract after he aimed a kick at the head of one of the French club’s fans before a Europa League match against Portuguese club Vitoria on Nov. 2. UEFA banned Evra from European club competition until June 30 but he is free to play domestic league soccer.

Evra apologized for his actions soon after the incident, saying he’d responded to “disgraceful provocations” by some fans.

Evra’s contract with West Ham runs until the end of June.

“It was the fastest thing I have done in my life,” said Evra, who flew to London from Dubai to complete the move once he was told about West Ham’s interest.

West Ham is short of cover at left back because Arthur Masuaku is serving a six-game ban for spitting at an opponent. Evra joins an aging defense that also includes Pablo Zabaleta (33) and Jose Fonte (34).

Evra has played 81 times for France, captaining the national team at the 2010 World Cup.