The potential homecoming of Patrice Evra to Manchester United looks to be over before it has even started.
Momentum had begun to build around speculation that the 35-year-old could return to Old Trafford after two-and-a-half-years at Juventus, and Rio Ferdinand’s somewhat cryptic Instagram post on Wednesday only served to raise hope among the fan base.
Indeed, reports later that evening suggested that Evra was “desperate” to come back to the club where he won five Premier League titles in over eight years.
However, a report in the Manchester Evening News on Thursday morning appears to have poured cold water all over that. Not so much the rumour itself, rather the chance of it actually coming to fruition.
According to said report, Man United manager José Mourinho trusts in the long-term potential of Luke Shaw – and bringing back the man that Shaw effectively replaced at the club wouldn’t be the best move for his confidence.
The 21-year-old has struggled with form and fitness this season, having suffered a broken leg last year, but the £30m signing is still seen as one of England’s brightest defensive prospects. With the the likes of Daley Blind, Matteo Darmian and even Ashley Young also able to play there if necessary, Man United are pretty well-stocked in that position despite the fact that none of them has been able to nail down that spot.
There will, therefore, be no move for Evra. Indeed, on the player’s current form it’s hard to argue that he even deserves a move. The veteran defender is very much showing his age this season and has lost his place in the Juventus starting lineup to Alex Sandro. Outside of the emotion of it all, there would be no practical reason for re-signing Evra.
In fact, it is still not quite clear if Mourinho will make any new signings in this window, with a £38m move for Benfica defender Victor Lindelöf still in limbo.