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Jonny Evans pulled out of West Brom's last game of the season

By Matt Wilson | West Bromwich Albion | Published:

Albion captain Jonny Evans declared himself unavailable for the Baggies’ final game of the season, with sources claiming he sent a text to the club.

Evans, 30, who is expected to leave on a cut-price £3million deal this summer, told Albion ahead of the Crystal Palace game he could not play in Sunday’s fixture, which saw the club finally drop out of the Premier League.

Sources have told the Express & Star he sent a text to the club to inform them of his decision.

Albion, however, have dismissed the claims strongly and say the skipper had a frank but amiable conversation with Moore on the phone ahead of the match, when it was agreed he didn't need to go to Selhurst Park.

Team-mate Claudio Yacob also failed to travel to the match and flew home to Argentina on Sunday.

The midfielder, also 30, informed Moore on Saturday that he was suffering from a tight hamstring and left training after he was not picked in the match-day squad.

Evans, who had trained up until Friday, missed the Saturday training session and the match on Sunday.

Moore told the Express & Star after Sunday’s defeat to Crystal Palace that the pair had each picked up injuries in training.

Albion insist that both were given permission to miss the game by the caretaker boss, with Moore happy their conduct was above board. Neither player will face any punishment.

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Evans has now played his last game for Albion and will be snapped up this summer due to a relegation release clause in his contract.

Yacob’s future is also up in the air because his contract runs out this summer. Whether he is offered a new one depends on who is installed as head coach.

Neither player was able to break into the first team under the caretaker boss.

Claudio Yacob. (AMA)

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Evans was due to be on the bench at Selhurst Park but his position was filled by 38-year-old Gareth McAuley, who was an unused substitute.

It brings an end to a sorry season for the former Manchester United defender, who had been one of Albion’s shining lights in the two years previously.

He was the subject of intense transfer speculation as the Baggies rejected bids from Manchester City, Leicester City and Arsenal, both last summer and in January.

Evans has been unpopular with Albion fans since the squad’s ill-fated trip to Barcelona under Alan Pardew, when he was one of four senior players who allegedly stole a taxi.

He was stripped of the captaincy for one game before Pardew handed the armband back to him, but he hasn’t started any games under Moore, who made Chris Brunt skipper instead.

Yacob has been an Albion player for six seasons, but he has grown increasingly frustrated this term over a lack of game time.

He was reportedly one of the club’s senior players who spoke out against the tactics used by former boss Pardew in the changing room.

He has been linked with a return to Racing Club, in his homeland, the only other team he has played for in his career.

Evans will have a host of suitors this window because of the modest release clause in his contract.

Leicester, Arsenal, West Ham, and Manchester United are all believed to be interested.

Matt Wilson

By Matt Wilson
Football MMPJ - @mattwilson_star

Sports reporter at the Express & Star, who primarily covers West Bromwich Albion.

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