An update on the situation surrounding the future of West Bromwich Albion defender Jonny Evans has come to the fore in the English media this afternoon.
Since making the move to the Hawthorns from Manchester United in 2015, 29-year-old central defender Evans has gone on to establish himself as one of the Premier League’s most consistent stoppers.
The 67-time capped Northern Ireland international has proven himself to be not only a hugely capable defender, but also a stellar leader, with his experience having proven crucial to his side’s stout defensive record over the past couple of seasons (not so much this season, though).
Evans’ impressive showings for West Brom last season certainly didn’t go unnoticed on the part of the English top-flight’s biggest sides, with Manchester City and Arsenal having both expressed an interest in the Baggies’ star.
In the end, though, West Brom stood firm, with Pep Guardiola having admitted that ‘(former Baggies boss) Tony Pulis put a price (on Evans) that we couldn’t afford at that moment.’
‘Evans might move’
However, speaking in an interview last month, current West Brom manager Alan Pardew admitted that the need for reinforcements in attacking areas at the Hawthorns could see Evans sold during the January transfer window:
‘We are pretty tight financially. I am conscious if there are no funds available I might have to move something around.’
‘I have to get goals on the board otherwise you can’t win games. So there is a scenario Jonny Evans might move and for sure I have looked at that.’
‘He has all the qualities for a top team. I would be stupid to sit here and deny that.’
Unsurprisingly, Pardew’s revelation has since led to an increase in transfer speculation regarding Evans, with suggestions this afternoon that Arsenal could offer up defender Mathieu Debuchy, plus around £25 million, to bring the Northern Irish international to the Emirates:
Jonny Evans a man in demand. @Arsenal and @ManCity both made contact. Understood Wenger particularly keen. Could pay up to £25m, inc Debuchy going other way. Player ideally would stay in north west (family base) but not going to ignore club of Arsenal’s standing.
— Simon Stone (@sistoney67) January 8, 2018
However, Evening Standard correspondent James Olley claims that Evans favours a move to Manchester City over Arsenal.