West Brom manager Alan Pardew fears losing club captain Jonny Evans in the January transfer window, saying “your best players are always vulnerable”.
Evans has been the subject of speculation linking him with a move away from The Hawthorns after the club reportedly rejected offers in the region of £25 million from Arsenal and Leicester City before the start of the season.
His current contract expires at the end of 2018-19 and Pardew said the rumours in the media suggesting he could move to Arsenal or Manchester City in January did not come as a surprise.
“There’s interest in him because there was interest in the summer and it makes sense to stir it up,” Pardew told BBC Sport. “It makes good headlines for the media.
“Jonny’s dealt with it in his way. He was terrific for me against Crystal Palace [Pardew’s first game in charge, which ended 0-0].
“You are never confident when you’ve got great players because other clubs want great players.”
Evans has started 12 of West Brom’s 15 Premier League games this season, scoring one goal in the 2-2 draw at home to Watford in September.
The 29-year-old joined the Baggies from Manchester United in August 2015 for an undisclosed fee.
Pardew added: “Your best players are always vulnerable. Jonny Evans is certainly one of them, and he’s our captain.
“Do I want to lose him? Of course not. Do I fear losing him? Of course I do.”
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