Upon completing a reported £1.5 million move to Juventus, Patrice Evra has claimed that he would have been made Manchester United captain had he remained at Old Trafford.
Arriving from Monaco in 2006 for £5.5 million, Evra made 379 appearances during his eight-and-a-half seasons with United, winning the Champions League in 2008, five Premier League titles, three League Cups and a Club World Cup under Sir Alex Ferguson.
However, despite renewing his contract through the 2014-15 campaign earlier this summer, the left-back was given permission to leave the club following the £27 million signing of Southampton’s Luke Shaw, which would have seen his first-team chances restricted under new boss Louis van Gaal.
The Dutchman, though, was reported to be keen for Evra to remain at United this season, earmarking him as a potential leader in the dressing room and even offering him the armband as an incentive.
The decision to leave was therefore a difficult one, but the French international claims that, as soon as he knew of Juventus’s interest, he was intent on joining the Serie A champions.
"It was really difficult to leave Manchester United. It was for personal reasons," the 33-year-old said, having signed a two-year deal with the Italian side.
"Three months before the end of the season I asked to speak to other clubs and when I knew Juventus were interested it was a straightforward decision, but the most difficult thing was to leave Manchester United.
"They wanted to keep me and also wanted to give me the captain's band," he added. "Van Gaal was disappointed to see me go, but I had already made a choice."