Arsenal, Manchester City Target Jonny Evans to Discover Transfer Fate in Meeting

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistDecember 4, 2017

WEST BROMWICH, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 28:  Jonny Evans of West Bromwich Albion during the Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion and Newcastle United at The Hawthorns on November 28, 2017 in West Bromwich, England.  (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
Michael Steele/Getty Images

Arsenal and Manchester City target Jonny Evans is reportedly poised for a meeting with new West Bromwich Albion manager Alan Pardew to determine his future at the club.

Metro's Coral Barry cited a report from the Express, which said the player and his suitors will find out his fate after the defender has sat down for talks with Pardew as interest in his signature is still thought to be high.

The report also included quotes from Pardew, who earlier in the week spoke of his club's need to retain their top talent for the second half of the season:

"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."

Both the Gunners and the Citizens were associated with moves for Evans over the summer months, and they have reason to go back in for his services in the new year.

Arsenal in particular have seen their back line exposed of late and fell 3-1 at home to 10-man Manchester United on Saturday, when the Press Association's Matt McGeehan noted some blame rested with the north Londoners:

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has need of another centre-back after taking to starting left-back Nacho Monreal in his back three; the inexperienced Rob Holding is his only other alternative in a natural centre-back.

The Gunners have been boosted by the recent return to fitness of Shkodran Mustafi, as was recently highlighted by Goal's Chris Wheatley, although the German was injured in the defeat to United:

The Northern Ireland international has boosted his reputation significantly since moving to the Hawthorns from Manchester United in 2015, establishing himself as one of the Premier League's more consistent defenders.

It's said City value the defender at £30 million, and the Gunners will likely have a similar figure in mind after they had a £25 million bid for his services turned down in the summer, per Barry's report.

The Citizens are currently without John Stones after his year was cut short by a knee injury, and the fitness of captain Vincent Kompany will forever be in the back of manager Pep Guardiola's mind.

Arsenal's defence could perhaps do with general renovations in the middle, and following Saturday's defeat, Laurent Koscielny's boast regarding the club's back line no longer looks as accurate:

Evans is a critical piece of the puzzle at the Hawthorns, but it's possible Pardew may be open to the idea of selling his star unless he's committed to a future with West Brom.

Either Arsenal or City could complete a valuable midseason investment in that event, although the potential relegation battle awaiting the Baggies makes it difficult to believe they'll be open to letting go in January.