Arsenal and Man City will battle to sign Jonny Evans in January
30 NOVEMBER 2017 • 10:30PMArsenal and Manchester City are set to move for West Bromwich Albion captain Jonny Evans in January. Evans will be a target for both Premier League clubs when the transfer window opens, with Albion considering whether to cash in to raise funds for new head coach Alan Pardew. Pep Guardiola, the City manager, is keen to add a new centre-half and failed in a bid to sign Evans in the summer as Albion stuck rigidly to a £30m+ price tag. The absence of John Stones with a hamstring injury has heightened City’s need for defensive additions, with Real Sociedad’s Inigo Martinez also believed to be on the radar.
But it is believed Albion are already bracing themselves for another bid from the runaway league leaders for the Northern Ireland international. Telegraph Sport understands Arsenal also made a late move to sign Evans a few days before the deadline, with an offer of around £25m rejected. With Per Mertesacker retiring at the end of this season, Arsene Wenger is prepared to move for Evans if he receives any encouragement. Evans, 29, is out of contract in over 18 months and, while committed to Albion, he is not expected to sign a new deal with the prospect of European football on offer elsewhere. Funds will be limited in January for Pardew, with the club’s wage bill almost at its maximum after a major summer spend on new players.
Pardew could sacrifice Evans for £30m and use the money to bring in a number of signings.
When asked if he had received assurances Evans would not be sold in January, Pardew said: “I think the assurance I need is probably from Jonny more than anybody.
“He’s a fabulous player and very important for the club so I will have a good old discussion with him.
“I know from my experience at Newcastle you can lose key players in January, you need to be on your guard to replace them.
“I will have to see how we go and assess the squad quickly. It’s good enough to stay up but when I look at the clubs who are involved, particularly around the relegation area, I know they’re going to do business. You can’t take our eye off that.”
Meanwhile, it has emerged that joint assistant manager Ben Garner is leaving the club.
Garner was banned from the training ground by interim manager Gary Megson and is set to leave permanently after the arrival of Pardew. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/football/2017/11/30/arsenal-man-city-will-battle-sign-jonny-evans-january/