West Bromwich Albion centre-back Jonny Evans has discussed the interest Arsenal and Manchester City had in him during the summer transfer window.
The Northern Ireland international was being pursued by both Arsenal and Manchester City before the window shut in September. City were hoping to bring him in as a fourth choice centre-back, while Arsenal planned to come in for him had they lost Shkodran Mustafi to Inter Milan.
Evans ended up staying at West Brom and has said that the speculation didn’t bother him. “I’ve been there before in transfer windows,” Evans told the Daily Telegraph. “The last three transfer windows then the one before that.
“Man United to West Brom happened quite late on. Then the next year after the Euros there was interest from Arsenal. You just deal with it as a footballer.
“Surprisingly enough, there are a lot of players with speculation and sometimes the press doesn’t always get hold of what goes on. A lot of players go through it.
“Mine was the fact that Man City made a bid a month or so ago. That heightened that speculation. That was out in the press.
“But leading up to the end of the window, I was calm about everything and I was just trying to get back to being fit, for wherever I ended up so I could be at the top of my game.”
The 29-year-old joined West Brom in 2015 from Manchester United and has improved enough to warrant attention from the big teams again. Arsenal tried to sign him last summer after the European Championships, but couldn’t agree a deal with the Baggies.
Evans would have been an unfashionable choice for Arsenal, as most fans and pundits had agreed that Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk would have been the ideal choice. Given his age, last summer might have been Evans’ last chance to move back to a top club. It remains to be seen if either City or Arsenal return for him in January.