West Bromwich Albion are reportedly unwilling to even consider selling Jonny Evans for less than £25m. The 28-year-old defender is said to be a transfer target for Arsenal - but the Baggies will not let him go on the cheap.
Arsenal are known to be in the market for a new central defender and have been strongly linked with a big-money move for Valencia's Shkodran Mustafi. However, the Gunners have also been linked to Evans, who joined West Brom from Manchester United in 2015.
West Brom are currently focused on recruiting players and value Evans at around £30 million, according to the Daily Telegraph. Indeed, they are on the cusp of agreeing a loan deal for Southampton's Jay Rodriguez, for example, while Utrecht's Sebastien Haller is another of the Baggies' options.
Arsenal, meanwhile, are also reportedly interested in signing Southampton captain Jose Fonte. However, any potential move for the Euro 2016-winning defender is complicated by the fact that Manchester United are also chasing his signature. Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger recently insisted he would not be deterred from pursuing a player because of his age. But according to the Daily Telegraph, Wenger is unlikely to pay big money for a player like Fonte, who turns 33 in December.
The report comes shortly after Wenger admitted he hoped to complete a deal for Mustafi as soon as possible. "Mustafi? We hope it will be done," Wenger told French TV station SFR Sport, as quoted by the Evening Standard. "We are struggling to find the players we need. "
Wenger has also insisted there is a real dearth of talent available and that there is too much focus on the money than the quality on show on the pitch. "If I buy you tomorrow for £45m that means I've bought you for £45m, have I done well? Yes, if I listen to you, I will have done well because I spent the money," Wenger told Arsenal's official website.
"That is not a quality, buying a top player, that is different – and we are ready to do that. I spend £300m if I find the player and if I have the £300m."