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Monday 18 December 2017

Pardew fears Evans exit

West Brom’s Jonny Evans
West Brom’s Jonny Evans

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 tomorrow.

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