Express & Star

Alan Pardew fears losing West Brom captain Jonny Evans in January

Alan Pardew is scared he will lose influential skipper Jonny Evans in January.

Jonny Evans. (AMA)

There are several clubs reportedly taking an interest in the 29-year-old, including Manchester City, Arsenal, Everton, and West Ham.

Albion's head coach admitted Evans could be 'vulnerable', but reiterated that he didn't want to sell the Northern Irishman.

The Baggies rejected bids in the summer from City, Arsenal and Leicester - because none of them matched their £30million valuation.

But the club are bracing themselves for further offers once the window reopens in three and a half weeks and Pardew, who has only spent just over a week with his new players, understands why there is so much interest.

"I'm never confident when you've got great players because other clubs want great players so your best players are always vulnerable," he said.

"Jonny Evans is certainly one of them, and he's our captain. Do I want to lose him? Course not. Do I fear losing him? Course I do."

Evans has been back to his best in recent weeks after a stuttering start to the season by his own lofty standards.

Pardew said he hadn't spoken to Evans about January, and has no plans to 'unless he brings it up with me'.

And the Baggies boss has been impressed with his new skipper's attitude so far.

"There's interest in him because there was in the summer and it makes sense to stir it up - it makes good headlines for the media," said Pardew.

"I understand, we deal with it, Jonny's dealt with it in his way. He was terrific for me, I can only go on his performance, I thought he was outstanding against Crystal Palace."

Pardew will need to sell to buy this January because Albion's wage bill is already at its limit.

The Baggies have struggled for goals this season, but when he was asked if he wanted a striker in the window, Pardew said there was enough talent in the squad.

"I'll refer to what I said last week, I haven't seen these players yet and I won't know what they can offer," he said.

"When you play a different way, which I do, some offensive players might get more joy.

"(Jay) Rodriguez, (Hal) Robson-Kanu, (Matt) Phillips, and (Salomon) Rondon, there's enough talent there so let's see if it comes through.

"If it comes through before January then I might not need anyone."