The rumours linking Nemanja Vidic with a move to Spain were so frequent last season, with his agent umming and aahing over whether his client wanted a move to Real Madrid or not, left most United fans assuming it was a done deal. Whilst Vida repeatedly claimed he had no intention of leaving and that he wanted to see out his contract, with just a couple of years left of his current deal it appeared as though the club would accept an offer rather than wait for him to run out his deal.
Then, out of the blue, Vidic put pen to paper on a new four year contract and was later named captain. It was strange because I had more or less made my peace with the fact he was leaving. Gutted, of course, but if he wanted to leave there wasn’t much we could do about it. So to see him smiling for the cameras next to Fergie was brilliant.
This season, with Patrice Evra not looking quite the same player since the humiliation and disruption of the World Cup, there have been plenty of stories linking him with a move to sunny shores.
His agent was less coy than Vidic’s though and basically put the cards on the table. There seemed to be as much chance of Evra leaving as there was him signing a new deal.
“Either he will extend its commitment, or leave,” said Federico Pastorello. “We will sit down in the summer with Manchester United and decide whether he will extend his contract or move on. But for the moment there is nothing special to say on the situation. There has been interest, and I have read about Real Madrid but really the only official interest was from Inter Milan last summer. We had a long chat with Sir Alex Ferguson and it was decided he would stay in Manchester. His contract runs out in the summer of 2012 and there he is concentrating and focused on this season.”
A year ago, I would have dismissed all rumours as nonsense. Evra has repeatedly spoken about his love for the club and respect for the shirt. Whilst not all foreigners get it, Evra certainly appears to be a player who is fully involved in our club. He’s gone out and bought books and DVDs to learn about our past, speaks so fondly of the club and was made up to captain the team to League Cup success last season. Sadly, I’m a little more cynical these days and won’t necessarily take a player at his word, so haven’t dismissed the rumours of Paddy leaving out of hand.
However, reports from Canal+ in France tonight claim that Evra has agreed a new four year deal with United. There’s nothing on the official site yet, so it may just be rumours, but let’s keep our fingers crossed there’s some truth in this.