Manchester United’s Patrice Evra is understood to be ready to consider the idea of a move back to Monaco if his club’s initial bid for Leighton Baines materialises into a move which leaves the Frenchman on the sidelines.
United’s first bid is understood to have been tabled some time ago and with a second bid likely after David Moyes has officially taken up work at the club next week, Evra, who is entering the final year of his current United contract, could find himself pushed behind the Englishman and could be attracted by the idea of a return to the club he left in in 2006 to join United in £5.5m deal.
For now, Evra is unmoved by the Baines bid and considers himself a United player. But he knows the position may change and Monaco could be a possible next location. Despite their prolific spending in the market this summer, the newly promoted Ligue 1 side are yet to sign the pedigree left back they need in their push for Champions League qualification.
Evra was not given a new contract by United last season, though players over the age of 30 sometimes operate on a rolling 12-month deals, when they come to the end of a contract. Evra’s French agent declined to discuss yesterday whether the player might be influenced to seek a return to Monaco if Baines does arrive.
It is understood that there are likely to be no further developments on the Baines bid until next week, when the players of both clubs report back for training on Wednesday. Everton may seek to drive a hard bargain, though United do have bigger priorities this summer. Evra was restored to good form last season, responding well to the arrival of Dutch understudy Alex Buttner, which means the left back berth is by no means a crisis position. That could prove to be a key factor in negotiations, if Everton chairman Bill Kenwright holds out for a premium price well above £15m.
Though Everton do not need to let Baines go, they could be in a quandary if he makes it clear to them that he does want to move to Old Trafford. His ambition to command a regular England starting spot ahead of Ashley Cole in a World Cup year could persuade him to ask for the chance to head to United and gain Champions League experience.
United have convened a meeting for next week between Moyes, a senior executive, Wayne Rooney and his representatives, to discuss the striker’s future. It is unclear whether, as seems possible, the meeting will take place on Monday or Tuesday, before the players return to training.