Transfer news: Borussia Dortmund captain Mats Hummels' to end Jonny Evans career at Manchester United
Mats Hummels’ arrival at Old Trafford this summer is expected to signal the end of Jonny Evans’ Manchester United career.
United are understood to have tabled an opening £21.5m offer for the vastly experienced Borussia Dortmund captain.
And while the Germans are holding out for around £35m, Reds’ boss Louis van Gaal is determined to ensure Hummels is in place in time for the start of pre-season training.
The 26-year-old centre-half will not be the only arrival as van Gaal continues the evolution of his squad — especially if Champions League football returns to Old Trafford, but in order to spend big, the Dutchman must also undertake the second cull of his United reign after ruthlessly clearing a host of big-names off the books last close-season.
With the club’s wage bill a growing concern, insiders are already predicting that Belfast-born Evans will be one of those forced to make way.
Evans made a return to action this week after his six-match ban for spitting, lining up for United’s under-21s against Leicester.
The Northern Ireland international may well even figure in today’s Premier League clash at Everton as van Gaal battles yet another injury crisis.
“I have defended him and I still defend him, so I don’t punish him,” van Gaal said on Friday, when asked to expand on his thoughts about the incident which led to the hefty suspension.
That month on the sidelines since the spat with Papiss Cisse has done more damage than just a temporary dent to the reputation of Evans as one of the game’s more likeable characters.
United won four out of five league matches without the Ulsterman and the side’s performances in his absence have focused minds on his capabilities. It is felt within Old Trafford that Evans makes too many costly mistakes and that United’s back-line is more vulnerable when he plays. His cause has not been helped by repeated bouts of injury.
Even in United’s most recent defeat — the 1-0 reverse at Chelsea — United’s rearguard earned plaudits without Evans.
Paddy McNair, his fellow Ulsterman, was in impressive form alongside Chris Smalling and the pair admirably controlled Didier Drogba for the large part.
If Evans wants evidence of his future at Old Trafford, he need only analyse the contract situation of the other five players vying to play in central defence.
McNair is considered to have made substantial progress in recent months and signed a new deal with United in February that runs until 2017, Smalling this week penned a three-year extension to his current deal that increases his wages to £80,000-per-week and ties him to the club until 2019.
Highly-rated youngster Tyler Blackett agreed a deal at the back end of February which raised his wages from £2,000-a-week to £20,000 and saw him commit to United until 2017, Argentine international Marcos Rojo is only 12 months into a five-year deal.
It is understood the club are about to open talks with Phil Jones before he heads into his final season under contract, but there are no such negotiations planned for Evans, whose five-year contract will run out next summer.
While United have changed some of their methods of operation since the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson and former chief executive David Gill, Evans should still be reading between the lines. The club usually attempt to tie down a player they wanted to keep immediately he entered the final two years of his existing deal.
Evans will be disappointed that his six-match ban took him out the reckoning at just the time van Gaal’s side were coming into top form.
Evans can expect a flurry of interest once the final whistle blows at Hull City on May 24. with Arsenal believed to be keen.
Belfast Telegraph Digital