Arsenal and Manchester City Battle For Jonny Evans As Pardew Makes Plea

New West Bromwich Albion manager Alan Pardew is eager to keep defender Jonny Evans at the Hawthorns and says they will hold talks as soon as possible.

Northern Ireland international Evans has been a mainstay in central defence for West Brom since joining from Manchester United in 2015 and has made 12 appearances across all competitions this campaign.

Evans' contract expires in 2019 but West Brom rejected bids for the defender in August, including one from league leader Manchester City, and Pardew is keen to seal the captain's future at the Hawthorns.

"I think the assurance I need is probably from Jonny more than anybody and I haven't met him yet," Pardew told reporters on Thursday.

"I'm looking forward to seeing him. I think he's a fabulous player and very important for the club so I will have a good old discussion with him."

But Evans, the 29-year-old center back, is still the subject of interest from Premier League rivals. Pep Guardiola is keen to add experience to his defense with City likely to return for the defender in the new year, according to The Daily Telegraph.

Alvaro Morata and Jonny Evans
Alvaro Morata, left, and Jonny Evans at The Hawthorns, West Bromwich, England, November 18. Evans is wanted by Manchester City and Arsenal, with bids expected in January. Catherine Ivill/Getty

Guardiola's team is leading the Premier League table by eight points and is currently on a 19-game winning run, but is now without the injured John Stones. Stones is unlikely to be available again until around the new year after suffering a hamstring injury.

The club's attempts to sign Evans in the summer were hindered by West Brom's demands for £30 million for the Northern Irishman.

Arsenal is also believed to have had an offer of £25 million for Evans rejected in the summer. Arsene Wenger, the head coach, is aware that the club captain Per Mertesacker is retiring at the end of the season, and is keen on bringing in an experienced replacement.

But Pardew, who was appointed as Tony Pulis' replacement on Wednesday, said that he trusts West Brom's technical director Nicky Hammond to make the right decisions in the January transfer window.

West Brom is 17th in the league, three points ahead of bottom-side Crystal Palace, which it hosts on Saturday.