Reports in Italy claim Patrice Evra could be set for a move to Juventus despite his recent one-year contract extension at Manchester United.
At first glance the story – from Italian website GianlucaDimarzio.com – seems somewhat baffling. After all, surely those rumours were put to bed once the Frenchman’s short-term future was tied to United.
But with a little more thinking-time the rumour makes a considerable amount of sense. After all, following the big-money signing of Luke Shaw from Southampton, many wondered how Louis van Gaal would grant both him and Evra sufficient playing-time.
Shaw would not have moved to Old Trafford unless he was guaranteed a sufficient amount of games, and considering Evra is rarely injured or suspended, the French full-back would either be used on the left-wing or named on the bench as a result.
And yet the Evra-to-Juventus story only really makes sense when you consider the ongoing suggestion that van Gaal wants to bring Arsenal’s Thomas Vermaelen to Manchester United.
While the club is in need of new experienced centre-backs following the departures of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic, Vermaelen offers more than that. He also offers cover at left-back when required, as both the Gunners and his national team Belgium can testify to.
Talk is that United are closing in on the 28-year-old, and if he arrives, Evra’s departure could well go through without Manchester United suffering.
As things stand, with Alex Buttner sold to Dynamo Moscow, van Gaal would have no experienced left-back cover if Shaw was injured. But in Vermaelen he would have just that, so perhaps those Evra stories are not as crazy as first thought.