Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 April 2014

Manchester United to hand Patrice Evra a new contract after failing to find adequate replacement

Patrice Evra current deal expires at the end of next season
Patrice Evra current deal expires at the end of next season

Patrice Evra is set to be offered a 12-month contract extension at Manchester United.

The left-back has been in good form this season, and his current deal expires at the end of next season.

Evra has scored more goals this season – netting four times – than in his entire previous United career.

United looked as if they might have been tempted this winter by a £5m bid from Paris St-Germain for Evra, which would allow them to recoup virtually their entire outlay for a defender who is seen as no longer reaching the heights of previous seasons.

Evra, a PSG supporter, was understood to be keen on the idea of playing for the club. He has always said that it is his aspiration to conclude his career at his hometown side, who gave him the big break in 1997 which he was unable to take. The 31-year-old eventually sought a route into football through Italy after several months' work at PSG's Camp des Loges training complex came to nothing.

A left-back was one of PSG's three primary targets for January and the 29-year-old Evra could have seen his £90,000-a-week salary increase by joining the club now lavishly funded by the Qatar Investment Authority.

But though last season was a difficult one for the defender, United appear to be keen to extend his spell at Old Trafford and keep him out of the clutches of a host of clubs eager for the Frenchman's signature, including PSG.

United have not found an adequate replacement for Evra. Fabio da Silva, currently on loan at the Premier League's bottom side Queen's Park Rangers, has not demonstrated that he is ready to return to Old Trafford and step up.

Neither has Alex Buttner suggested that he is anything more than back-up material for Evra. United's decision to lay out £4m to the Dutch club Vitesse Arnhem for the 23-year-old, who did not set the world alight in his three years there, has puzzled some observers in the Netherlands.

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