Arsenal have become the new favourites to sign West Brom contract rebel Jonny Evans as Arsene Wenger looks to strengthen his squad further.
The Gunners are the front runners to secure Evan's signature ahead of Manchester City this month, according to the Mirror, and seem only too happy to pay the going rate for the centre-back. Meanwhile, the Mail claims that the former Manchester United man is prepared to move south to London for the move.
Evans is rated at £20m by the Baggies but, with just 18 months left on his deal and the 30-year-old refusing to pen a new deal, they could look to cash in now whilst his stock is high.
The ex-Manchester United star also allegedly has a £3m release clause fee in his West Brom contract should the Midlands side be relegated from the Premier League - something that's still a distinct possibility with the club lying 19th in the current standings.
Wenger has already swooped for Henrikh Mkhitaryan as part of the deal that saw Alexis Sanchez move to United on Monday, and has high hopes of landing £50m-rated Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang too.
The Frenchman has also turned his sights to bringing in a new defender as he looks for a replacement for the retiring Per Mertesacker and his other options at centre-half.
I would rather watch holding and chambers scoring own goal hatticks— ITK (@Jugarinho) January 23, 2018
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Laurent Koscielny, Shkodran Mustafi, Calum Chambers, and Rob Holding are all available to Wenger in that position and, while Nacho Monreal has also deputised there, another solid addition to his ranks is much needed.
Wenger insisted at his media briefing on Tuesday that he still had money to spend before the winter window shuts in a week's time but refused to acknowledge if he was interested in Evans.
Jonny Evans may not be the sexy option like Virgil Van Djik or Aymeric Laporte but a veteran defender with PL + CL experience is the RIGHT option for Arsenal.— Yousef Teclab (@yousefteclab) January 23, 2018
There's a reason why Man City were interested + Sir Alex Ferguson gave him his debut at Man Utd as a 19 year old. #AFC pic.twitter.com/LmYUWxfVoD
The Northern Ireland international has spent two-and-a-half years at the Hawthorns following a £7m switch from Old Trafford, and has turned out 87 times for the Baggies.
Evans has weighed in with crucial goals in the draw with Watford and win over Brighton this season to help keep Alan Pardew's men in contention for top flight survival, but his future could depend on Arsenal's desire to buy him and whether West Brom can stay up this term.