Arsenal and Manchester City are locked in battle competing for the signature of West Brom captain Jonny Evans – with both clubs having made enquiries into the defender’s availability in recent days.
Arsene Wenger is keen to strengthen Arsenal’s defensive unit, he has already brought in Greek defender Konstantinos Mavropanos this month and, with Shkodran Mustafi and Rob Holding both coming in for criticism as of late, Wenger wants to add Evans to his options.
The Gunners made an inquiry about the Northern Irishman during the summer – only for then manager Tony Pulis to insist that Evans was not for sale.
However, according to Sky Sports and The Daily Express, new West Brom boss Alan Pardew has already made plans for life after Evans at the Hawthorns, paving the way for his departure should a suitable bid arrive.
This is also music to the ears of Manchester City. The league leaders are also in the market for a central defender and they see Evans as someone who can boost their chances of winning multiple silverware this season.
City had a bid of £18 million rejected for the Baggies defender during the summer, but West Brom’s stance has since changed, and it is likely City will come up with the cash rather than let Arsenal get their man.
It will be interesting to see whether or not Evans would be so keen on a move to the Etihad – given that the Belfast-born defender came through the academy at Manchester United, before going on to lift three Premier League titles at Old Trafford.
While no official offers have been made as of yet for Evans, City and Arsenal’s interest is no secret, and it is likely that he will not be a West Brom player come the end of the transfer window.
Should Evans depart, it would come as a huge blow to West Brom, given that the club find themselves embroiled in a relegation battle and will want to have their best performers available for the business end of the season.
The Baggies currently sit in 19th place with a lowly sixteen points to their name – four points from safety.
Losing Evans could be a massive blow – and expect the big clubs to keep knocking on the door as the transfer window progresses.
This isn’t a story we’ve heard the last of.
Jordan Norris, Pundit Arena