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Home Sport Football

Pulis plans Evans extension

West Brom head coach Tony Pulis is keen for Jonny Evans to sign a new contract after the club kept the defender from the clutches of their Premier League rivals during the transfer window.

The 29-year-old was a target for Manchester City, Leicester and Arsenal over the summer. City had a bid of £18million turned down while the Baggies rejected offers of £10million and £23million from the Foxes.

Talks over an improved deal for Evans began shortly after the end of last season but nothing concrete materialised and negotiations remain ongoing with the Northern Ireland international, who was made West Brom captain in July following the departure of Darren Fletcher.

"Jonny's done fantastic at this football club," said Pulis. "I think Jonny has really bought into what we try and do, the way we try and play. He's blossomed with it, he's become a better player without a shadow of a doubt.

"So it was important that we kept him and I'm pleased he stayed. I think everybody at the football club would like to see him tied down.

"I hope we can agree a new contract. It will be interesting to see what Jonny wants to do."

Pulis will have Evans available for the first time this season at Brighton on Saturday after he proved he has recovered from the hamstring injury that was keeping him out by playing in both of Northern Ireland's World Cup qualifying matches this month.

In his absence, West Brom have made a solid start to the season, taking seven points from their opening three Premier League games and conceding just one goal.

Summer signing Ahmed Hegazi has made a positive early impression alongside Craig Dawson at the heart of the Albion defence and it is not a given that Evans will simply be restored to the side.

"We have worked very hard to improve the football club. I've bought what I think are good players in and now we have good competition for places," said Pulis, who will decide whether to include new signings Grzegorz Krychowiak and Kieran Gibbs in his squad, with both players short of match-fitness.

Gareth McAuley is back in training after a thigh injury but Saturday's game will come too soon for him to be considered, while Hal Robson-Kanu is still suspended.

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