Manchester City targeting Jonny Evans to firm up defence, says Pep Guardiola

Former Manchester United player could join small number of players to have appeared for both City and United if deal can be agreed with West Brom.

Soccer Football - Port Vale vs West Bromwich Albion - Pre Season Friendly - Stoke-on-Trent, Britain - August 1, 2017   West Brom's Jonny Evans in action with Port Vale's Anton Forrester   Action Images via Reuters/John Sibley
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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is targeting West Bromwich Albion defender Jonny Evans to strengthen his defensive options.

The former Manchester United player could join the small number of players to have appeared for both City and United if a deal can be agreed with the Baggies.

City have already expressed a firm interest in the 29-year-old Northern Ireland international, Press Association Sport understands.

According to several reports, West Brom have turned down an £18 million (Dh85.3m) bid from City for the 29-year-old player, after a £10m offer from Leicester City was also rejected.

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City manager Guardiola said last month he was hoping to have a bigger pool of centre-halves to choose from, with John Stones, Nicolas Otamendi and Vincent Kompany his current senior options.

Eliaquim Mangala is not in favour at City, and has been linked with Inter Milan. Guardiola is thought to see Evans as a more reliable option at the back, given his wealth of Premier League and European experience.

Evans began his career in England with Manchester United and went on to make almost 200 appearances in all competitions for the club, winning three Premier League titles and two League Cups.

He fell out of favour under former United manager Louis van Gaal and departed Old Trafford to join West Brom for an undisclosed fee in the summer of 2015.

West Brom have made clear their intention to keep hold of Evans, and boss Tony Pulis appointed him captain following Darren Fletcher's move to Stoke earlier this summer.

Leicester's interest earlier this summer prompted Pulis to say in July: "Jonny Evans is staying at West Bromwich Albion Football Club. There is no doubt about that."

Players to have played for both City and United include Peter Schmeichel, Andy Cole, Carlos Tevez and Owen Hargreaves, with Denis Law perhaps the best known for appearing both in red and sky blue.