Arsenal’s hunt for an experienced centre-back has received a huge blow after Premier League side West Brom have asked for a whooping £25m for former Man Utd defender Jonny Evans.
Arsene Wenger has revealed that the Gunners are all set to splurge huge cash in order to rope in their transfer targets, as they are desperately in the hunt for a top-flight centre-back.
Arsenal has been linked with a number of defenders this summer – including former Manchester United man Jonny Evans, Jose Maria Gimenez of Atletico Madrid and Valencia’s Mustafi. However recent reports suggest that Evans tops Wenger’s wish list after Mustafi transfer talks have stalled.
After leaving Manchester United, Evans became an immediate fan favourite at West Brom as he lived up to the expectations of the club.He proved his mettle in the international stage as he played a pivotal role in guiding Northern Ireland into the last 16 of Euro 2016, before losing against Wales.
However now it is believed that the Hawthorns are willing to sell Evans but are not willing to lower down their asking price of £25m. Reports suggest that West Brom manager Tony Pulis believes that Evans has been consistent enough, both in the domestic and international circuit, which has increased his market value since joining the Baggies.
Wenger has felt the urgency of signing a top flight defender after a number of pre-season injuries. Per Mertesacker has pulled up a knee injury in a pre-season friendly against Lens. Gabriel is down with an injury and Laurent Koscielny is struggling to regain match-fitness after a hectic Euro 2016 schedule which leaves Wenger with the option of playing Rob Holding, Calum Chambers and Krystian Bielik in the new season.
Apart from Evans, Arsenal are also desperately looking to rope in Mustafi from Valencia, as Wenger recently said: “Listen, we have a good few options. He’s one of them but it’s being negotiated behind the scenes.”
Foottheball sources have earlier reported that the Gunners have already placed a £25m for Mustafi but Valencia are not willing to lower down the asking price from £42m.
Recent reports claim that Valencia’s Chief Executive Garcia Pitarch has now revealed that the La Liga club may have to offload Mustafi in order to abide by the Financial Fair Play regulations.
“We’re above the FFP guidelines, that’s the reality, and as of today, the four players we’ve signed cannot be registered, meaning we need to reduce the cost in a significant manner to register the players and sign a centre-back, which is a priority in case one of the ones at our club leaves,” said Pitarch.