Date: 18th February 2011 at 1:28pm
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Evra- could he one day overtake Irwin as United's best ever left back?

Will Patrice be bombing down the left wing at Old Trafford next season?

Despite reports in last night’s Guardian, Patrice Evra’s future at Manchester United is far from settled.

The Guardian claimed that Evra had agreed a new four year deal with United that would keep him at the club intil 2016, effectively seeing out the rest of his playing career.

In today’s Mancherster United press conference, Sir Alex, when asked whether Evra had signed or agreed to a new contract said: “There’s in nothing to report there at all.”

Repirts suggesting Evra had agreed a new deal surfaced last night on who claimed that it had been reported in French media outlet Canal + that the former France captain had agreed a new deal .

The Guardian seemed to back up the website’s claims, going even further and stating that an announcement was expected from Sir Alex at today’s press conference.

News that Evra has not signed a new deal will leave the door open for a possible move to Real Madrid , who have been touted as the left-back’s next port of call for several months now.

Real’s pursuit – and  acquisition- of United’s best players has been one of the thorns in the side of Sir Alex Ferguson in recent years, coming to a head in 2008 when Fergie stated: “Do you think I would enter into a contract with that mob?”  “No chance. I would not sell them a virus. That is a ‘no’ by the way.”

Of course United did sell Madrid Ronaldo, but not after Sir Alex had at least gotten one more season out of the want-away- winger.

In the cases of Heinze, Beckham and even Van Nistelrooy, it was arguably a mutual deal with United willing to sell and Madrid were willing to pay the required amount. As was the case with Ronaldo, though, Ferguson has made no secret of the fact that he wanted to keep Evra at Old Trafford for another long term contract.

There was also specualtion that Nemanja Vidic would be leaving United in the Summer for the Bernabeu but thankfully he decided to stay at Old Trafford and signed a new deal.

In the case of Evra only last week the United manager was defending his left back and criticising France boss Laurent Blanc, for leaving him out of the French  squad.

Fergie said: “It is a surprise because Patrice has been punished already,” said Fergie. “I don’t see why he should be punished further, unless they’re saying he’s not good enough.”If they’re saying he’s not good enough to play for France then you can’t argue with that, but I know he’s the best left-back they’ve got. There’s no question in my mind about that.

“Patrice will be disappointed, but you just have to accept it. But he’s still a very important player for Manchester United and he’ll continue to be that.

“I think he’s certainly one of the best left-backs in the world. I can’t think of anyone who’s dramatically above him.”

Many United fans will agree with Sir Alex’s statement as since his move from Monaco in 2006 Evra has been one of the most consistent performers at Old Trafford and a constant contender for the title of ‘world’s greatest left back.’

Some may argue that Ashley Cole is better, although as this season has proven, the Chelsea man’s usual consistency has often deserted him as, like the rest of his team mates he’s endured a trouble few months.

Fergie’s most recent statement means it’s still anyone’s guesss as to whether Patrice will indeed be a United player next season.

A possible swap deal with Real’s Brazilian left back Marcelo has been touted by some- not least myself- as a possibility, although I like many ohter Reds would much rather see Evra stay at Old Trafford.

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