Monaco defender Evra ready to head for Old Trafford

The signing will place United's expenditure at close to £12m following the signing of Serbian international Nemanja Vidic from Spartak Moscow for £7.2m and the club's assistant manager Carlos Queiroz has told a radio station in Portugal that he expects at least one further new player before the end of the month.

Evra, 24, has been in dispute with Monaco for much of the season after demanding a transfer and although Internazionale have expressed an interest in the French international he is understood to favour a move to England. Despite being an impressive performer in Monaco's run to the Champions' League final in 2004, he is still far from being a regular in the France national team and there has been surprise at United's interest in him.

The transfer would appear to signal that Ferguson has lost faith in Mikael Silvestre who, after more than six years' service, has been undermined by the purchase of Vidic and Evra. The United centre-half can now expect to figure behind Vidic in the race to be Rio Ferdinand's central defensive partner and is now, in all likelihood, third choice left-back behind the injured Gabriel Heinze and Evra.

While there were fears that the Glazer family would not back Ferguson in the transfer market, they have shown their faith in the 64-year-old Scot. Although the club suffered the ignominy of elimination from the Champions' League in the group stages, their shortfall, against what they budgeted to make, is only likely to be £3m in this financial year.

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