Arsenal Transfer News: Jonny Evans Rumoured to Shun Gunners for Manchester City

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistApril 12, 2018

WEST BROMWICH, ENGLAND - JANUARY 13:  Jonny Evans of West Bromwich Albion takes a throw in during the Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion and Brighton and Hove Albion at The Hawthorns on January 13, 2018 in West Bromwich, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

West Bromwich Albion captain Jonny Evans will reportedly reject interest from Arsenal as he would prefer to complete a transfer to Manchester City that could cost as little as £3 million.

Evans has been linked with Arsenal for several years but is said to "firmly favour" a move to City over the Gunners, per the Mirror's James Nursey, with the Citizens on the verge of winning the Premier League crown.

The Northern Ireland international will be available for £3 million if the Baggies are relegated from the Premier League, which could be confirmed if they lose at Manchester United on Sunday and other results go against them.

Nursey noted City were only £2 million away from meeting West Brom's valuation of their centre-back during the winter transfer window, and pundit Paul Merson questioned Arsenal's inability to seal a January deal, via Sky Bet:

Evans, 30, moved to the Hawthorns from Manchester United in 2015 and has emerged as a leading force in the west Midlands.

While both Arsenal and City failed to get a deal over the line in January, Layth Yousif of the Islington Gazette commented on the value to be had should West Brom go down—they are 10 points from safety with five games left:

The club will be relegated if Crystal Palace beat Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday and the Baggies fall to United on Sunday, which is set to give Evans his pick of top-flight clubs willing to pay his £3 million buy-out clause.

Evans is said to prefer City, even though his chances of starting at the Etihad Stadium are lower than they would be at the Emirates Stadium, with Vincent Kompany, Nicolas Otamendi and Aymeric Laporte all likely to be ahead of him.

England international John Stones has had a difficult season under Pep Guardiola and acknowledged the level of competition at the club means it's natural not to be playing every game, per Sky Sports' Joe Shread:

"It's difficult. Every player wants to play week-in, week-out.

"But I've had games here and there, I've been fighting and that's all you can do. Train hard, keep working hard and when your chance comes you've got to take it and that's what I've done.

"I've had the players' backing and the manager's backing. It's one of those things where the team's winning games and playing well, and you can't get back in just like that."

Football writer John Brewin commented on City's revolving door of defensive talents following Laporte's £57 million move from Athletic Bilbao, and even he is not yet guaranteed a starting spot:

If Evans were to arrive at City in addition to those players Guardiola already intends to keep, he could stand as far down as fifth choice among centre-backs, although his price tag makes him a hard target to turn down.

That being said, with Kompany prone to injury, Laporte still acclimatising to England and Stones' place in the squad uncertain, there may yet be room for an in-form Evans to make an impact among the big names again.

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