New Juventus signing Patrice Evra has revealed Manchester United boss Louis Van Gaal wanted him to stay at Old Trafford and become the Red Devils' skipper.
The 33-year-old Frenchman recently made the switch to the Serie A champions after more than eight years in Manchester and 379 appearances for United.
However, he has now claimed that new Old Trafford boss Van Gaal was eager to keep him at the club he served for so long, per Sky Sports (via Richard Arrowsmith in the Daily Mail):
Manchester United wanted to keep me and they also wanted to give me the captain's band. Van Gaal was disappointed to see me go away, but I had already made a choice. It was really difficult to leave Man United, but I did it. I made my choice and I am really happy with my choice.
The arrival of Luke Shaw at the Manchester outfit no doubt played a part in Evra's departure, as the 19-year-old left-back is clearly the future for United in the position.
However, the loss of Evra is a blow for the club as his experience could have been vital in a young back line after the departures of both Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand.
United now lack depth on the left side of defence and Shaw must shoulder the huge responsibility of replacing Evra.
Van Gaal is also left with a dilemma as to who he should name as club captain—Vidic held the post previously—with Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie the leading contenders per Sky Germany's Jan Aage Fjortoft:
Guess van Gaal wants van Persie as new captain after Vidic. But he will wisely use the time to see how much "harm" NOT naming Rooney will do— Jan Aage Fjortoft (@JanAageFjortoft) July 17, 2014
Evra is also eager to see his former United teammate Nani join him at Juventus and has urged the club to sign him, again per Arrowsmith's report:
He is a great player and it was a privilege for me to play with Nani. If Juve are interested in him, I can only say that Nani would be a great purchase.
The Portuguese winger has been on the fringes of the United squad for some time now—he made only seven starts in the Premier League last season—and many suspect Van Gaal may look to move him on, including football writer Jerrad Peters:
Louis van Gaal will not suffer Nani. He'll be off by September.— Jerrad Peters (@jerradpeters) July 30, 2014
However, it remains to be seen whether Juventus have any genuine interest in the 27-year-old considering his inability to break into the first team at Old Trafford in the past few seasons.
Who will be United captain next season?
Evra would seemingly have been a good choice for captain as—while unlikely to have played every game—he would have been an uncontroversial selection having played the role in Vidic's absence on many previous occasions.
Van Gaal now has a choice between two often ill-disciplined strikers or a left-field option who may not satisfy the players and fans.
Thus far in pre-season he has handed the armband to Darren Fletcher and Tom Cleverley, but it is still a mystery as to who his long-term choice will now be given Evra's departure.