Everton and West Ham United could go head-to-head over the signing of West Bromwich Albion defender and mooted Arsenal and Manchester City target Jonny Evans.

Evans has reinvigorated his career at the Hawthorns since joining the Baggies from Manchester United in the summer of 2015. His performances in the Midlands helped demonstrate why former Red Devils boss Alex Ferguson was so keen to persist with him, and his strong form inevitably drew interest from bigger Premier League clubs.

City boss Pep Guardiola made a move to pilfer the £30m-rated Evans from West Brom in the summer but a deal to bring the Northern Ireland international back to Manchester ultimately fell through. Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger was also credited with an interested in Evans and has kept tabs on the 29-year-old for the past couple of seasons, but the Gunners did not submit a formal offer for the revered centre-half.

It remains to be seen if the Gunners or City reignite their respective interests in Evans, whose contract with West Brom expires at the end of next season - Guardiola does see him a player who can strengthen his backline amid doubts over the fitness of Vincent Kompany and the wherewithal of Eliaquim Mangala - but Everton and West Ham are ready to make a move for the former United star, according to The Mirror.

Everton boss Sam Allardyce recent admitted his priority is to strengthen his new side's attack in the January transfer window, but defensive reinforcements are also high on the Toffees' agenda. With Ashley Williams showing his age, Ramiro Funes Mori out with a knee problem and Phil Jagielka closer to 40 than he is 30, Everton's backline could do with some major surgery, with the full-back positions also a cause for concern.

Everton's rearguard is currently one of the worst in the Premier League this season, along with West Ham. David Moyes' men have failed to show any semblance of defensive rigidity this season, with Angelo Ogbonna and Jose Fonte failing to impress while Winston Reid and James Collins struggle with various fitness concerns.

The Merseysiders and West Ham would likely be blown out of the water by City if they do come calling for Evans in January. West Brom boss Alan Pardew failed to allay fears over the Northern Irishman's future in his press conference, instead admitting that he is worried he may depart next month.

"Jonny Evans is definitely one of them [West Brom's best players] and he is our captain. Do I want to lose him? Of course not. Do I fear losing him? Of course I do," Pardew said.

Jonny Evans and Wilfried Zaha
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