Former Manchester United defender Jonny Evans reportedly prefers a move to Premier League champions-elect Manchester City over Arsenal.
According to a report by Daily Mirror, Arsenal have been dealt a major blow in their bid to sign Jonny Evans in the summer transfer window. The former Manchester United defender, who looks set to leave West Bromwich Albion, favours a move to Manchester City over the Gunners.
Evans has found a stable footing in his career since joining West Brom from Manchester United in the summer of 2015. So much so, that the Northern Irishman has also been entrusted with the Baggies’ club captaincy, although the going has been tough over the course of the current campaign.
While West Brom are the prime candidates to drop down to the Championship at the end of the season, Evans was mired in the infamous taxi incident alongside other senior figures at the club in January. And, his stint at the Hawthorns seems to be coming to its end, with the player unlikely to stay put in the second tier.
There seems to be no dearth of interest in him either, with several Premier League outfits weighing up a summer move for the former Manchester United defender. Among these suitors, Manchester City and Arsenal are the most prominent names, and are set to go head-to-head for Evans.
At Manchester City, Pep Guardiola already has four top class centre-backs in Vincent Kompany, Nicolas Otamendi, John Stones and January signing Aymeric Laporte, which makes their continued interest in Evans slightly perplexing.
But, Evans is a player who has more than a decade’s worth of experience in the Premier League, which can come in handy for Manchester City over the course of a long, winding campaign, considering Kompany’s long history with injuries. Meanwhile, Arsenal’s need for a centre-back appears to be more urgent.
The Gunners are set to see Per Mertesacker hang up his boots at the end of the season. With Laurent Koscielny not exactly a spring chicken anymore, and the likes of Rob Holding and Calum Chambers failing to be consistent, the Manchester United academy graduate is a viable target for Arsenal.
What further makes Evans an attractive target for both the clubs is the fact that he will be available for a cut-price £3 million buyout clause when West Brom get relegated. However, Arsenal have been handed a major blow in pursuit of the player, who prefers a move to Manchester City over the North Londoners.
With his family still based in the North West of England, a move back to familiar surroundings in Manchester would be favourable for the 30-year-old. The race to sign Evans is certainly heating up, and it will be interesting to see where the former Manchester United superstar heads off to in the summer.
What appears certain is that his spell at West Brom is coming to an end, and either Manchester City or Arsenal are likely to secure his services, with the former the leaders in his pursuit.