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 By Ben Gladwell

Patrice Evra thanks Sir Alex Ferguson

Patrice Evra has described the decision to join Juventus as the biggest of his life and expressed his gratitude for his nine years at Manchester United.

- Okwonga: Evra's passion will be missed
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Evra, 33, has signed a two-year contract with the Serie A champions after they agreed a deal worth up to 1.5 million pounds for his services.

"This is the biggest decision of my life, but this transfer is the right one for me to continue my quest for a challenge," Evra said in La Stampa. "Juve are a huge club and I want to win here."

The Frenchman had come close to a move to Turin in 1998, when he spent 10 days on trial with Torino, but he was unable to convince the Granata to offer him a contract.

He then spent time in Italy's third tier with Marsala and Monza before moving to Ligue 2 club Nice and then on to Monaco, where he attracted the attention of United and Sir Alex Ferguson in 2006.

He went on to win five Premier League titles at Old Trafford and was part of the side that lifted the 2008 Champions League trophy in Moscow, and he has paid tribute to the club in an open letter published on United's official website.

"After a great deal of thought I have decided the time is right for me to leave Manchester United. It is the biggest decision of my career as this club is, and will always remain, in my heart," he wrote.

"Joining and playing for Manchester United has been a privilege, a dream come true, and my time here has been so memorable. Through the good times and the bad times we have all stuck together and remained loyal. I have always said you don't just join Manchester United, you join the family, and long may that tradition continue.

"This club is steeped in history and I feel privileged to have become a part of that. Over the past nine years I have met and worked with some incredible people, many of whom will remain friends for life. I would like to thank everyone at the club -- teammates, coaches and in particular all the staff who made every single day in Carrington or at Old Trafford a special day.

"An immense thank you to Sir Alex Ferguson for making it all possible, for giving me the privilege to be a captain, to be inspired by the legend of Manchester United and to understand that nobody is bigger than the club.

"My biggest thanks go to the fans. We have had some fantastic times together, we lifted all of those trophies together and that night in Moscow will live with us all forever. Every single time I stepped out in that shirt I knew I was playing for the badge and for a very special club. My passion for this club will live on and I know you guys will go on to enjoy more success in the coming seasons."

Evra is the second signing for new coach Massimiliano Allegri in just a few days after Alvaro Morata completed his switch from Real Madrid, but he is unlikely to be the last, with Roberto Pereyra seemingly on the verge of joining from Udinese.

According to Sky Sport Italia, the Argentine has already collected his belongings and bid farewell to his teammates at Udinese. On Tuesday, club owner Giampaolo Pozzo is due to meet with Juve's director of sport Beppe Marotta in Milan to put the finishing touches to a loan deal between the two clubs, allowing Pereyra to join his new colleagues for preseason training.

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