Pardew ex­pects in­ter­est in Evans to in­ten­sify as trans­fer win­dow opens

Western Mail - - SPORT -

WEST Brom boss Alan Pardew ad­mits he fears los­ing Jonny Evans next month amid re­newed spec­u­la­tion re­gard­ing the Al­bion cap­tain.

Evans was a sum­mer trans­fer tar­get for Manch­ester City, Arse­nal and Le­ices­ter, with all three clubs hav­ing of­fers for the 29-year-old turned down as West Brom stuck to an ask­ing price in ex­cess of £30mil­lion.

Re­cent re­ports have sug­gested City and the Gun­ners re­main in­ter­ested in sign­ing Evans and both will re­turn to test the Bag­gies’ re­solve when the trans­fer win­dow opens again on Jan­uary 1.

City man­ager Pep Guardi­ola is still keen to add a new cen­tre-half to his squad, with the ab­sence of John Stones due to a ham­string in­jury height­en­ing the Pre­mier League lead­ers’ need for de­fen­sive ad­di­tions.

Arse­nal boss Arsene Wenger, mean­while, will see Per Merte­sacker re­tire at the end of the cur­rent cam­paign.

Evans has 18 months re­main­ing on his con­tract at The Hawthorns and, while com­mit­ted to West Brom, it is dif­fi­cult to see the former Manch­ester United player sign­ing a new deal with the prospect of Euro­pean foot­ball on of­fer else­where.

“There’s in­ter­est in him be­cause there was in­ter­est in the sum­mer and it makes sense to stir it up - it makes good head­lines for the me­dia and I un­der­stand that and we deal with it,” said Pardew, who will take charge of West Brom for the sec­ond time against Swansea on Satur­day.

“Jonny’s dealt with it in his way. He was ter­rific for me against Crys­tal Palace, I can only go on his per­for­mance and I thought he was out­stand­ing.

“You are never con­fi­dent when you’ve got great play­ers be­cause other clubs want great play­ers so your best play­ers are al­ways vul­ner­a­ble.

“Jonny Evans is cer­tainly one of them, and he’s our cap­tain. Do I want to lose him? Of course not. Do I fear los­ing him? Of course I do.”

A goal­less draw at home to Palace, Pardew’s former club, last week­end left West Brom with­out a win in 13 Pre­mier League games and just one place above the rel­e­ga­tion zone.

Al­bion travel to bot­tom-of-thetable Swansea to­mor­row know­ing a win in south Wales would open up a seven-point gap over their op­po­nents.

Asked if the match at the Lib­erty Sta­dium was a six-pointer, Pardew said: “No. A six-pointer is when there’s two games to go and you need to win six points to stay in the di­vi­sion. This is just three points in a sea­son.

“We need to win at least nine games to be safe and hope­fully af­ter Satur­day it’ll be eight

> West Brom tal­is­man Jonny Evans

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.