Belfast Telegraph

Jonny Evans is a steal for one of Premier League's top six sides, says O'Neill as Arsenal and Manchester City prepare swoop

Jonny Evans will remain a Premier League player next season; of that, Michael O'Neill has no doubt.

The Northern Ireland manager is even backing his star defender to earn a transfer to one of English football's top teams.

After West Bromwich Albion's relegation to the Championship, a clause in Evans' contract at the Hawthorns will allow him to leave for a meagre £3 million; precious little in today's super-inflated transfer market.

Arsenal and Manchester City are both said to have had bids of closer to £20 million rejected for the player last season while a move back to his old side Manchester United has even been softly mooted. And, according to the Guardian, both City and the Gunners are ready to renew their interest this summer.

For O'Neill, a deal makes plenty of sense.

"When you look at what players move for now, to get Jonny for £3million is a no-brainer for me," added O'Neill. "Obviously in the Premier League at the top end it is not just about what it costs but if he is the right player for your club.

"Jonny's had a difficult second half of the season at West Brom during what has been a difficult season overall for his club.

"But if you look at Jonny over the past two years and how he has played for us at international level, he has always been for me someone capable of being in the Premier League's top-six teams."

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