Former Manchester United and current Marseille full-back Patrice Evra has admitted he still occasionally talks with Jose Mourinho.
The Frenchman departed Old Trafford for Juventus back in 2014 but was, according to several reports, on the cusp of a return to Manchester over the January transfer window.
He recently revealed that the potential move was botched after somebody inside the club – their identity remains undisclosed – disagreed with bringing the 35-year-old back to Man United.
But Evra, speaking earlier this week, has noted that he continues to communicate with the Portuguese via text.
“I need coaches like that, like Ferguson. Coaches with a real grasp. That’s how I work,” he said.
“Jose knows that. We sometimes send each other a few text messages. Besides, I nearly returned to United – I don’t hide that. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen.
“I won’t go into the details. But of course I would have liked to play under Mourinho.”
I can’t help but wonder what the messages between Evra and Mourinho are like: I’m imagining the Frenchman sending Mourinho numerous memes he doesn’t understand and pictures of himself dancing in a panda costume – “Ahahahahah, you see Jose, I still love this game! Why you never smile, eh, Jose?? Ahahahahah” – and just receiving blunt replies in response, consisting mainly of complaints about his hotel room service. “I order beef wellington an hour ago; still nothing. No knock on my door. Unbelievable.”
On a more serious note, however, it is worth considering, in hindsight, the influence Evra could have brought over the last few months. Luke Shaw, for one, could have benefitted immensely from the Frenchman putting an arm around his shoulder and pointing him in the right direction from time to time.
His aura is unavoidably uplifting; he could even make David Moyes smile, you feel, and it is worth noting that, like Shaw, Evra suffered a slow start to his United career as well before going on to establish himself for many years. Supporters will be desperate to see the 21-year-old do the same.