Belfast Telegraph

Jonny Evans move could be off as interest mounts in Lafferty and Jones: Northern Ireland transfer rumours

By Gareth Hanna

Jonny Evans' much-anticipated move away from West Bromwich Albion could be under threat, according to the latest transfer rumours.

The Northern Ireland centre-back was linked with moves to Leicester, Manchester City and most strongly to Arsenal. At the end of last week, Arsenal were the favourites to secure his signature with West Brom landing Zamalek defender Ali Gabr and seemingly preparing for the captain's departure.

Talk of Leicester's interest has cooled of late while Manchester City are instead close to completing a £57 million deal for Athletic Bilbao centre-half Aymeric Laporte

And now, with the Gunners closing in on a reported club record £55.4 million deal for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, the Telegraph report that Arsenal do not consider January deals for both players 'financially sensible' and are now unlikely to move for Evans until the summer.

If West Brom, currently 19th in the table, were to be relegated this year,  the Northern Ireland star could leave for only £3 million at the end of the season. West Brom's current valuation is believed to be over £20 million.

If Evans is to get his move, West Brom manager Alan Pardew would rather it happened in advance of Wednesday's dealine:

“If they (a buying club) ring up late Tuesday they’re probably not going to get the response they want, if they ring today, tomorrow, Sunday, they’ll get a nicer response," he said. “The deadline is always the same, can you do business, have you got time to do business the other day? If we’ve got time, that’s the deadline. Obviously the less time you leave it the less chance you have of bringing someone in.”

Meanwhile, rumoured to be in with a chance of a move is Evans' international team-mate Kyle Lafferty. The Hearts forward, according to the Edinburgh Evening News, is attracting interest from overseas and the report claims his current club would consider selling the player that they signed only in the summer.

Hearts are short of options up top after Isma Goncalves left to join Uzbekistan side Pakhtakor Tashkent. Manager Craig Levein is therefore keen to recruit, even before considering Lafferty's departure.

“We need a striker, although we have Kyle back tomorrow night. We want somebody who knows how to handle this league or a league like it so I’m working on a number of things," he told the Evening News.

Levein had dismissed reports that Sunderland were targeting the 20-year-old.

“I haven’t heard anything about that. He’s under contract. I know someone has suggested it somewhere but that stuff doesn’t always have to be true," he said.

Northern Ireland new-boy Jordan Jones is still the subject of transfer speculation. Championship promotion-chasers Bristol City have joined Rangers in the race for the Kilmarnock midfielder, according to the Daily Mail. The 23-year-old had been the subject of a £350,000 bid from the Light Blues, but it was swiftly rejected.

The Argus have claimed that Brighton have rejected Fulham's bid to make Oliver Norwood's loan deal permanent.

And the Nottingham Post say that Forest are willing to listen to offers for NI forward Jamie Ward. The 31-year-old has made only seven substitute appearances in the Championship this season.

In a confirmed move, Northern Ireland midfielder Matthew Lund has joined Bradford City on loan from Burton Albion.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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