Belfast Telegraph

Bittersweet day for Gunners as Evans approach rejected after Aubameyang's arrival

By Robert Jones

West Brom rejected an approach from Arsenal for defender Jonny Evans on deadline day.

The Gunners were almost instantly dismissed with the clubs too far apart on their valuation of the Northern Ireland international.

Arsenal spent around £56m to sign Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Borussia Dortmund early yesterday but were never close to any deal for Evans.

Albion did not want to sell Evans but recognised they may have needed to cash in to strengthen the squad, more specifically in attack, for their battle against relegation.

But the loan signing of Daniel Sturridge from Liverpool on Tuesday beefed up the forward line.

They have been able to keep skipper Evans in the last two windows after Arsenal, Manchester City and Leicester all expressed an interest in the summer.

Albion had valued Evans at £30m in the last window and it would have taken a bid of over £20m to even bring them to the table this time.

Boss Alan Pardew had previously said any clubs wanting Evans would have to bid at least three days before the deadline to allow the Baggies time to strengthen themselves.

They still stand to lose the former Manchester United centre-back in the summer though, when he will have just a year left on his contract.

Evans is unlikely to sign a new deal at The Hawthorns after a season of struggle and Albion may be forced to cash in.

He reportedly has a £3m release clause should the Baggies get relegated from the Premier League.

While Evans didn't seal a move before the deadline, Northern Ireland Under-21 international Ben Hall joined Notts County on loan from Brighton.

The highly-rated young central defender, who is captain of the Seagulls' Under-23 team, has signed for the rest of the season on loan from the Premier League outfit.

The 21-year-old moved to Brighton from Motherwell for an undisclosed fee in June 2016, having made his first-team debut for the SPL side in December 2015.

"I am delighted to finally get the move done," he said. "It's something that I have wanted to get out and do just to get more experience under my belt.

"When my agent rang me and told me Notts County were interested I just wanted to get here and I'm thrilled.

"I first learned of their interest about a week ago but I still had games going on at Brighton.

"But after I played on Monday, I was told the move was done.

"I just want to play as many games as I can while I am here and help Notts with their push for promotion."

Jamie Ward was another Northern Irishman on the move as he joined Cardiff City on loan in a deal announced after the 11pm deadline.

He had been made available to other clubs by new Nottingham Forest boss Aitor Karanka and is off to promotion chasers Cardiff, with Lee Tomlin going the opposite direction, also on loan.

The big story on the day was Manchester City pulling out of a potential deal for Leicester's Riyad Mahrez.

The Premier League leaders enquired about the Algeria playmaker but were put off by the Foxes' £95m valuation.

Mahrez has been keen to leave Leicester since submitting a transfer request last summer and is understood to be unhappy about being priced out of a move to the Etihad Stadium.

City's withdrawal from the Mahrez deal was another twist to a busy deadline day which saw Arsenal, Chelsea and Borussia Dortmund involved in a three-way transfer.

Gabon forward Aubameyang's arrival at Arsenal for a club-record fee from Dortmund, which is reported to be in the region of £56million, was confirmed just after 11.15am.

Later yesterday, shortly before the transfer window closed in Germany, it was announced Chelsea striker Michy Batshuayi had completed a loan switch to the Bundesliga side.

That in turn had paved the way for Olivier Giroud to leave Arsenal and be unveiled as a Chelsea player, for a fee understood to be £18m, and the France international forward was at Stamford Bridge last night to see his new team unexpectedly lose 3-0 to Bournemouth in the Premier League.

Elsewhere, Tottenham completed the signing of winger Lucas Moura from Paris St Germain on a contract until 2023.

Moura moved to Spurs for an undisclosed fee, reported to be around £25m, having fallen behind Neymar and Kylian Mbappe in the star-studded PSG pecking order.

Top 10 January deals

1. Philippe Coutinho (midfielder): Liverpool to Barcelona (£106m)

2. Virgil van Dijk (defender): Southampton to Liverpool (£75m)

3. Aymeric Laporte (defender): Athletic Bilbao to Man City (£57.3m)

4. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (striker): Borussia Dortmund to Arsenal (£56m)

5. Cenk Tosun (striker): Besiktas to Everton (£27m)

6. Lucas Moura (winger): Paris St Germain to Tottenham Hotspur (£25m)

7. Theo Walcott (winger): Arsenal to Everton (£20m)

8. Guido Carrillo (striker): Monaco to Southampton (£19.1m)

9. Andre Ayew (striker): West Ham to Swansea City (£18m)

10. Olivier Giroud (striker): Arsenal to Chelsea (£17.5m)

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