United boss not forcing long-serving defender out.
Manchester United manager David Moyes has moved to defend his well-publicised pursuit of Everton left-back Leighton Baines this summer, Sky Sports reports.
The England international looked like being a key part of Moyes’ plans this season as he looked to bring one of his star players from his old club with him to Old Trafford this summer, leading to some speculation that the Scot did not fancy the long-serving Patrice Evra as his first choice anymore.
However, Moyes has said that Evra very much remains part of his plans, and he’d hoped only to bring in Baines as possible cover for what could be a long season ahead.
The new boss, who replaced Sir Alex Ferguson after his retirement at the end of last season, also added that at a club like Manchester United competition for places is healthy and normal, and feels Evra is well aware of that.
“I just felt we needed to make sure we had good cover for Patrice,” explained Moyes.
“He has played brilliantly well but I hope we are going to have a season that is going to include 60 or 70 games.
“Patrice played a big majority of the games last season but I just want to make sure if he broke down I had the right people around to help me. He knew exactly what we were doing.
“If you play for Manchester United there is always someone out there getting ready to take your jersey. It is up to you to fight and make sure you keep it.”
Moyes has also come under some criticism for his seeming reluctance to include Japanese playmaker Shinji Kagawa, who has featured only as a brief substitute this season in United’s Community Shield win over Wigan, and is now being linked with a move away from Old Trafford.
However, he denied any special hesitance over Kagawa, saying there are plenty of players that haven’t played yet this season for a variety of reasons.
“There are quite a lot of players who have not featured yet,” he said.
“But if you look at it most of them were late back from international duty after the Confederations Cup, then they were away for a friendly international and a long-haul flight, then they were away again for another international.
“If you look at the reasons why people haven’t played, it is more to do with them not being available for that to happen.”