According to reports in the English media, West Ham United have entered the race for West Bromwich Albion defender Jonny Evans.
Since making the move to the Hawthorns from Manchester United in 2015, 30-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 last 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 last summer.
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.’
However, the battle for Evans was very much back underway following the opening of the winter transfer market in January, with Arsenal and City once again having emerged as the leading contenders for his signature.
Gunners’ boss Arsene Wenger admitted that his side would come out ‘second best’ if pitted in a battle of finances with Pep Guardiola’s runaway Premier League table-toppers for Evans, but, in the end, the Citizens opted to splash out a hefty 65 million Euro to bring in Aymeric Laporte from Athletic Bilbao, seemingly leaving Arsenal with a free run at West Brom’s star man.
But the North Londoners failed to get a deal over the line by the close of the transfer window, with Arsene Wenger later revealing that ‘he (Evans) was not available for what we could afford.’
Numerous reports over recent weeks have insisted that a clause in Evans’ West Brom contract will see the defender become available for just £3 million this summer, if the Baggies are relegated.
Alan Pardew’s men currently sit 6 points adrift of 19th-placed Stoke City in the Premier League table, meaning that, as things stand, Evans looks highly likely to depart the club for a paltry fee come the summer.
Arsenal remain the favourites to land the experienced stopper, but, as per growing reports in England this morning, the Gunners are set to be challenged by London rivals West Ham United for Evans’ signature.
The Hammers are known to be in the market for central defensive reinforcements this summer, following the departure of Jose Fonte for Chinese Super League outfit Dalian Yifang, with David Moyes said to be a long-term admirer of the talents of Evans.