Belfast Telegraph

Jonny Evans in line for bumper Baggies pay rise if NI star decides to stay

By Nick Mashiter

West Brom boss Alan Pardew has urged the Baggies board to improve their contract offer to Jonny Evans.

Albion rejected a deadline day bid, rising to £12m, from Arsenal with the Baggies determined to hold onto their captain late in the window.

A new deal has been tentatively discussed this season, but the Northern Ireland star is unlikely to sign anything until the summer, when it will be clear which division Albion are in.

The defender is understood to have a £3m relegation release clause in his current contract and the Baggies are bottom of the Premier League ahead of tomorrow's visit of Southampton.

And Pardew wants to ensure Albion give Evans their best offer, with the club likely to need to offer over £100,000-a-week.

"I told him what happened on Wednesday and now in my view we need to sit Jonny down and see if we can get a contract that works for him," said Pardew.

"If not, in the summer again we're going to have this situation.

"That's something that I will speak to the board about in the next couple of weeks.

"He can only be open to those discussions if the figures are right because the market dictates and we have to understand what those figures would have been elsewhere.

"Whether we can reach those figures I don't know."

But Pardew praised Evans' professionalism after he was the subject of intense speculation in the last two transfer windows with Arsenal, Manchester City and Leicester making offers last summer.

"I've spoken to Jonny all the way through and I've said to him what I would be saying in the press, that the last two or three days would be very difficult unless the bid was of a significant amount," he said.

"I respect his position 100 per cent and I've tried to be honest and fair with him from the day I walked in and I will be until the day I walk out and, as we mentioned before, his conduct around the training ground is spot on.

"He's clinical in terms of his thinking. Game time is game time and when he comes off the pitch of course he's effectively CEO of his own company.

"He decides his own fate."

Evans could return for West Brom's key battle with relegation rivals Southampton.

The defender, the subject of a rejected bid from Arsenal on deadline day, missed Wednesday's 3-0 defeat to Manchester City with a hamstring injury.

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