Manchester United

Sorry Love, Pat’s Off.

Patrice Evra can hardly keep his name out of the papers at the moment.

After assuming the role of chief rabble-rouser, the leader of the rebellion against Raymond Domenech, the Manchester United defender has come under serious scrutiny from pundits and ex-professionals alike.

Earlier this week, Lillian Thuram called on the French football administration to take severe punishment against the team captain. Today, former les Blues captain and part-time Ghana fan Marcel Desailly has echoed the thoughts of his former teammate, calling on Evra to be suspended from taking part Laurent Blanc’s new regime.

There can be little wonder why Sir Alex Ferguson relieved the left-back of his pre-season duties to take a month’s holiday.

Sandwiched between these vindictive statements, rumours have also begun to circulate around the Frenchman’s club future.

Keeping the papers full of the controversial French captain, speculation has risen regarding a possible move to Juventus or Barcelona before the new season gets under way.

Reports in Spain claim that the full-back has been unsettled by recent events and may look for a move elsewhere, in spite of the fact that the 29-year-old defender only recently spoke of the pride he had for playing the game in Manchester United colours.

Apparently, Barcelona are keen on landing the defender to strengthen their ranks in that position, where Eric Abidal and Maxwell were questioned on one or two occasions last season.

Juventus, meanwhile, are currently looking into acquiring Evra’s services to assuage their problems at left-back. The Italian club is struggling to forge a capable option at left back, as demonstrated by the slightly desperate signing of 32-year-old World Cup winner Fabio Grosso last year from Olympique Lyonnais.

Real Madrid has similarly been earmarked by one paper as a possible destination for Evra with manager Jose Mourinho looking to improve his squad’s defensive capacity.

For all the turbulent words in the press, Evra will be content with the words of new French coach Laurent Blanc, who has reassured players involved in the recent World Cup fiasco that he himself would not take disciplinary action against the provocateurs.

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