Transfer expert: Manchester United’s Patrice Evra was never available for free

With Juventus reportedly back in for Manchester United’s Patrice Evra, Gianluca Di Marzio has explained why the Bianconeri didn't make their move earlier.

Manchester United completed the £31 million signing of Luke Shaw from Southampton on Friday, bringing about a swift conclusion to a potential summer transfer saga.

The 18-year-old had long been linked with a move to Old Trafford, a developing situation that cast doubt over veteran Patrice Evra’s future with the Red Devils.

With an expiring contract at United, the Frenchman was repeatedly claimed to be close to a Bosman move to Juventus - but instead was handed a one-year renewal last month.

Shaw’s arrival has suggested that the 33-year-old is being kept on to mentor the teenage left-back, who with a lavish price-tag, will be the subject of massive expectations.

Curiously, however, Juventus are still being linked with a move for Evra even though the defender has extended his tenure at United and looks set to take Shaw under his wing.

The reports beg the question why the Serie A champions didn’t make their move when Evra was available for free. But according to Sky Sport Italia’s Gianluca Di Marzio, that was never the case.

A report from Di Marzio reads: “Despite what his agents stated, Evra was never eligible for a free transfer since Man United had exercised a clause in his contract before May 15, which extended his contract by another season without even having to talk to the player.

“This is why Juve didn’t put pressure on him to sign with them since that contract wouldn’t have been valid anyway and the Bianconeri would have faced sanctions.”

Despite Di Marzio’s contention and Juventus’ renewed pursuit of Evra, a move to Turin looks unlikely at this stage.

United and their manager Louis van Gaal look to have made a conscious decision to keep Evra at the club in order to help Shaw along and hold onto a long-tenured dressing room leader.

Unless Juventus present an offer the Red Devils can’t refuse - unlikely considering their financially conservative approach to the transfer market - United realistically have no reason to sell a player who still has a role to play at Old Trafford.

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