Evra 'persuaded to stay' by Ferguson's home visit


Manchester United's Patrice Evra has described how Sir Alex Ferguson was forced to visit him at home last summer and use all his powers of persuasion to make him reconsider a decision to leave Manchester United for Real Madrid or Internazionale.

Evra was considering leaving Old Trafford as recently as January, with no imminent prospect of a new contract, and the left-back admitted ahead of his role in Saturday's Champions League final against Barcelona that the prospect of being nearer his family meant his mind was set on a move before the 2010-11 season began.

"I had thought about leaving Manchester United last summer for family reasons and even concluded that I wanted to," Evra said. "But something changed my mind quite late on. There were other clubs interested like Inter and Real Madrid. But the manager visited me at my house in Manchester to persuade me. I know my heart has really made the right decision. When Sir Alex Ferguson talks, it's a good idea to listen."

Evra's agent Federico Pastorelli said in January Evra was still uncertain about his future, though he then agreed a four-year deal in February.

When Wayne Rooney decided he wanted to leave in October, Evra was the player most critical, but said the striker apologised. "He came, he spoke, he said what he had to say, between us. It stays between us, it's true that he apologised for it," Evra said. "But it brought us together."

Ferguson was last night voted by his contemporaries as the League Managers' Association manager of the year. Remarkably, it is only the third time he has won the award since it was introduced in 1994.

Speaking at the LMA awards dinner in London via video link from Old Trafford, where he watched United's stars of the future win the FA Youth Cup, Ferguson said: "[The award is] a wonderful honour – it has been a fantastic season for us in the most difficult league in the world."

In the game at Old Trafford, Ravel Morrison and Will Keane each scored twice to defeat Sheffield United 4-1 on the night and 6-3 on aggregate as United became the first club to win the FA Youth Cup on 10 occasions.

Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola has meanwhile revealed he will wait for today's forecast from the Grimsvotn volcano before deciding when his side will travel to London for the Champions League final against United on Saturday.

Barcelona were forced to travel by bus to Milan to face Internazionale in the semi-final of last year's competition after flights were cancelled as a result of an ash cloud which covered much of western Europe.

And Guardiola is hoping for the best this time around as another erupting Icelandic volcano threatens to cause flight disruption over the British Isles.

"I hope the volcano sleeps a little bit longer," he said.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Syria civil war: Meet the military commander who says his soldiers will not rest until every inch of their war torn country is free of Islamist 'terrorists'

‘We won’t stop until Syria is back to normal’

Near the front lines with Islamist-controlled towns where Assad’s troops were besieged just last month, Robert Fisk meets a commander confidently preparing his soldiers for battle
The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation may undermine Hillary's chances

The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation...

... and how it may undermine Hillary's chances in 2016
12 best olive oils

Extra-virgin, cold-press, early-harvest, ultra-premium: 12 best olive oils

Choosing an olive oil is a surprising minefield. Save yourself the hassle with our handy guide
Rafa Benitez Real Madrid unveiling: New manager full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

Benitez full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

There were tears in the former Liverpool manager’s eyes as he was unveiled as Real Madrid coach. But the Spaniard knows he must make tough decisions if he is to succeed
Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?