Shock release clause gives Arsenal summer hope for Jonny Evans

The reason for Arsenal’s derisory deadline-day offer for West Brom defender Jonny Evans has reportedly been revealed.

Arsene Wenger made a late approach for the Northern Ireland international on Wednesday night, but the deal worth up to £12million was rejected out of hand by the Baggies.

Albion boss Alan Pardew said he had warned clubs not to make a late move for Evans, because a deal would not happen unless “a bid was going to knock us off our chair” and Arsenal’s offer “was no way near that”.

It’s believed West Brom value Evans, whose contract expires in June 2019, at £20million, but the 30-year-old does have a relegation clause written into his contract.

According to the Daily Mail, Evans has a £3million release clause in his contract in the event of relegation. And considering the Baggies are bottom of the table and four points adrift of safety with 25 games gone means Wenger may well have had that in his thoughts when he made his low offer.

It may well be that Arsenal are prepared to wait and take their chances with Evans, rather than spending in excess of £12million now on the defender.  And in the event of West Brom being relegated in May they may well get themselves a bargain.

Pardew though is aiming to get Evans tied to a new deal, and that would no doubt include a differing relegation clause.

In the summer after Man City’s interest in Evans West Brom offered to make Evans the club’s highest earner on £100,000 per week, but he refused the new terms.

“He has handled the situation particularly well,” said Pardew of the interest from Arsenal and Manchester City. “I spoke with him just to round it off because I’ve tried to look him in the eye and tell him the truth from day one.

“I told him what happened on deadline day, he understood that, and now in my view we need to sit Jonny down and see if we can get a contract that works for him going forward. 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.”