Jonny Evans Bags an £8m move to West Bromwich Albion
Jonny Evans' summer of uncertainty is finally over.
West Bromwich Albion have rescued the Northern Ireland defender from dropping off the radar at Manchester United by striking an £8m deal with the Old Trafford club.
Evans and his representatives are now in talks with the Baggies, with the deal expected to be completed well before Tuesday's deadline.
The Belfast Telegraph revealed in March that Evans would leave United this summer after he dropped down the pecking order under Louis van Gaal. Tuesday's paper told readers that the Baggies had jumped to the top of the queue for the 27-year-old with Tony Pulis wanting him to join fellow Northern Ireland men Gareth McAuley and Chris Brunt.
West Brom will pay £6m up front, with a further £2m in add-ons, which will make him the most expensive Northern Ireland international ever, beating the £5.75m that Celtic paid for Neil Lennon in 2001.
While United handed new contracts to other defenders Chris Smalling and Phil Jones last season, Evans wasn’t offered fresh terms, despite having just one more season left on his deal.
That set the alarm bells ringing and he had been holding out for a move to Everton, but with Roberto Martinez digging his heels in over John Stones’ transfer request the Toffees boss failed to back up his interest with a bid.
Rather than being left in limbo at United, where he hasn’t started a Premier League game since being sent off at Newcastle for allegedly spitting at Papiss Cisse, which earned him a six-match suspension, he has now plumped for a move to the midlands ahead of staying in the north west.
Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill will be pleased to see Evans seal a move, with crucial Euro 2016 qualifiers looming in the coming 10 days.
Despite him not playing a first-team game this season Evans is still likely to get the call from O’Neill to start next Friday’s game in the Faroe Islands and the home clash with Hungary three days later.
Evans joins Aaron Hughes, Paddy McCourt, Stuart Dallas, Will Grigg and Jamie Ward in joining new clubs this summer, while Ryan McLaughlin is expected to move from Liverpool to Oldham Athletic on loan.
Elsewhere Northern Ireland international striker Billy McKay has joined Dundee United on loan from Wigan Athletic.
He joined the Latics from Inverness in January, but failed to hold down a regular first-team place at the DW Stadium.