Alan Pardew says he has talked candidly to Jonny Evans about the possibility of a transfer away from West Brom this window, and he’ll set a deadline for a deal soon.
The media are linking Arsenal with a deal for the defender, after the Gunners showed interest over the summer.
Manchester City are also keen.
Alan Pardew says nothing is decided yet, but he has spoken to the Northern Ireland international about a transfer.
“It would be inappropriate if I didn’t speak to him a little more candidly than I’m talking to you,” Pardew told reporters. “We have a good respect for each other, looked each other in the eye and told each other the truth.
“It’s not the case he is definitely going. This situation was running in the summer and he stayed. Yohan Cabaye was definitely, definitely going to Arsenal when I was at Newcastle. But he didn’t go.”
Pardew then explained that we won’t see a deal done on deadline day. The Baggies boss clearly wants time to spend whatever funds Evans’ sale brings in.
“I’ll put in a cut off date on any transfer,” he said. “I would say three or four days before the window closes, depending on the business we have done.
“We might be looking to do some business on the last day, if I feel it works for the club and is not harmful to us.”
Pardew obviously doesn’t want to give too much away.
If he talked to Evans and he’s not ruling out a transfer, though, than that suggests the 30-year-old wants to leave the club.
If he wanted to stay, the manager could just say the case was closed.
Should Arsenal keep chasing Evans?
I’m still not entirely sure the defender is what Arsenal need, especially if he costs tens of millions, as a player already in his thirties.
However, the club do need something to change at the back.
Arsenal didn’t keep a single clean sheet over the festive period, and have conceded eight goals in their last four league games.
They did keep one against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday but there was certainly an element of luck about it.
We’ll see if Arsene Wenger thinks Evans is the solution to his defensive issues.
More likely, we’ll see young Konstantinos Mavropanos get a run in the team.