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Patrice Evra reveals transfer discussions with Nemanja Vidic after Sir Alex Ferguson demoted Man United duo to reserves



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Credit: Vibe with FIVE

Patrice Evra and Nemanja Vidic are both considered Manchester United legends these days, but their starts to life at Old Trafford were rather difficult and they were even considering leaving the club.

The defensive pairing joined The Reds together in the 2006 January transfer window. Evra came from AS Monaco, whilst Vidic joined the club from Spartak Moscow in Russia.

With 786 appearances at United – as well as five Premier League titles and a Champions League trophy – between them, it’s quite easy to say that they had extremely successful spells with the club.

However, it is not unfair to say that it was a difficult transition for both players into one of the strongest squads in Europe.

Evra struggled on his debut against Manchester City and was replaced at half-time. Despite slowly growing into the culture at the club, the Frenchman detailed one time when the pair of defenders were demoted to the reserves for a game by Sir Alex Ferguson, where they both were substituted at the break.

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The pair were unsure of their future at the club and were even discussing potential transfers away in the dressing room.

“I remember me and Vidic played against Liverpool – I had a great game, won the free-kick for Rio to score the winning goal so I was like I’m back,” said Evra on Rio Ferdinand’s Vibe with FIVE podcast.

But after we played many games and we were scoring goals but also conceding a lot of goals, so Ferguson said that we needed to find a balance so I’m going to give you rest.

“And me and Vidic even played a game with the reserves and I remember it was Rene (Meulensteen) the coach, he subbed us off after 45 minutes.

“We were in the shower, I remember, and Vidic was like ‘I’m going to go back to Belgrade’, and I was like ‘yeah, my agent said AS Roma, they are in touch, so maybe I’m going to go to AS Roma’.”

Of course, things did not go that way and both players stayed in Manchester until 2014 following successful careers at United.

Evra’s technical ability was one of his main strengths but after his debut campaign, the left-back realised that he needed to adapt to the physicality of the Premier League in order to compete.

“After that, all the summer I worked in the gym and I built myself because I understood to play in England,” the former Red added. “First of all you needed to be strong, and I liked to play nice football and I remember we played a pre-season in South Africa and Mike Phelan shook my hand and said ‘from now you are a United player’ and the rest is history.”