Manchester United have opened talks with Monaco about making Patrice Evra, a 24-year-old left-back, their second signing of the transfer window. David Gill, the chief executive, has already held extensive negotiations with the player's advisers about a transfer that could have damaging ramifications for Mika?l Silvestre.
Evra, together with his Italian agent Frederico Pastorello, made it clear during a meeting with Monaco's vice-president Gérard Brianti yesterday that he wants to move to United.
Monaco announced last night that they would not stand in his way providing a fee can be agreed. They want around ?6m for the Senegal-born player. If the right offer is made, the transfer will take place, said Pastorello , who last night contacted Gill to warn him that Internazionale have failed with one bid.
Evra, capped five times by France, was sufficiently swayed to stay away from training for three days after the Christmas break. At first this was blamed on a family problem but Monaco think it is more sinister than that and he has been dropped from the team to play Auxerre tonight.
United have already added Namanja Vidic to the squad, the Serbia-Montenegro centre-half signing for ?7m from Spartak Moscow, and Silvestre looks the most likely player to be sold. Lyon are reportedly monitoring his situation.
Monaco have had similar problems with the striker Emmanuel Adebayor, who is also seeking a move to England, and the club president Michel Pastor made no attempt to disguise his anger.
There is no crisis, just a few tantrums and a very bad attitude on the part of certain players.