Arsenal willing to sign 30-year-old defender

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West Brom defender Jonny Evans has been urged to join Arsenal amid intense speculation linking him with a January move to Manchester United and Manchester City.

The Baggies, second from bottom in the Premier League, are unwilling to sell club captain Evans this month but know a sale of £25million will allow Alan Pardew to reinvest in other areas.

Arsenal and Manchester City were believed to be frontrunners to sign the 30-year-old, but Jose Mourinho has entered the race in recent days, wishing to bring the Northern Ireland international back to his boyhood club.

Evans made his first-team debut for United in 2006 before going on to play almost 200 games for the Red Devils. He took home three Premier League winners medals during his time at Old Trafford.

Martin Keown, the former Arsenal and England defender, believes ‘quality’ Evans can improve under Arsene Wenger at the Emirates.

‘He is a quality central defender. I don’t think he is world class, but there seems to be a shortage of quality experienced central defenders nowadays,’ he told the Daily Mail.

Wenger confirmed last week that no deal had been reached to bring Evans to north London – and also admitted Arsenal would be second in the queue if Man City wanted to secure his signature.