The left-back situation at Manchester United grows more intriguing by the day after it emerged that Patrice Evra, despite signing a one-year contract extension with the club in May, could still leave Old Trafford for Turin.
Tuttosport (h/t 101 Great Goals) claims the Red Devils are nearing a €3.5 million sale, while Enrico Passarella of GianlucaDiMarzio.com reports that Juventus are now pushing for a more cost-effective deal:
Juventus keep negotiating Evra with Manchester United, he’s one of their big targets ahead on next year’s European campaign. They like the French left-back a lot, the player is evaluating the transfer.
The Italian club is optimistic and is pushing, the deal could be closed in the next hours. They offer €2M and they hope they can complete the negotiation with that fee. Juventus and Evra are close again.
In any case, Evra's extension could be a sound piece of business for United, who look set to earn a handy payoff for a player who could have left for free this summer.
And it may be the right time to move on from the 33-year-old servant, who was exposed by Thomas Mueller in France's World Cup semi-final against Germany, as illustrated by FourFourTwo Stats Zone:
New signing Luke Shaw is already looked upon by some as an elite defender, but in the interest of seeing their teenager prosper, it has emerged that Wolfsburg's Ricardo Rodriguez may yet join the Red Devils to provide competition.
The full-back was one of his national team's more impressive players as Switzerland managed a run to the World Cup round of 16 in Brazil. He particularly caught the eye against Argentina, delivering a lung-busting display in their eventual 1-0 loss.
The Daily Mail's Simon Jones alleges that United have already lodged an offer for his services, providing immediate competition for Shaw in defence.
Ben McAleer of WhoScored.com points to the impact that Rodriguez had going forward in the Bundesliga last season, the kind of transition that Louis van Gaal will undoubtedly be a fan of:
Ricardo Rodriguez directly contributed to the most goals (5 goals, 9 assists) of every defender in Europe's top 5 leagues last season #MUFC— Ben McAleer (@BenMcAleer1) July 7, 2014
Back in January, Rodriguez's agent Gianluca Di Domenico told that a summer move for the defender could beckon, per the Express' David Wright. Now, United may feel their opportunity is nigh:
In January, he will not move from Wolfsburg because the club does not want to sell as they absolutely want to get into the Champions League. Maybe after the World Cup in June [he can leave] but it will not be easy as many clubs are interested in him.
Having impressed in Brazil over the past month, attention around the Swiss will inevitably blossom as it usually does after major international tournaments.
It's a hefty price to pay for two left-backs in one transfer window, but could again be a sign of just how adamant United are to change their fortunes and return to the European hierarchy.