Arsenal now appear to be in pole position to sign West Brom defender Jonny Evans for £25 million before the end of the transfer window.
The Northern Ireland international had also been heavily linked with a return to his former club Manchester United or a move to their neighbours Manchester City this month.
However, reports in The Mirror today suggest that West Brom’s signing of centre-back Ali Gabr on loan from Egyptian side Zamalek until the end of the season, has paved the way for Evans to move away from the Hawthorns.
The 30-year-old began his career at Old Trafford and although his former club were said to be interested in resigning him earlier in the window, Jose Mourinho is now thought to be more concerned with strengthening his squad in midfield than in defence.
Manchester City came close to signing Evans during the summer window and are well known to be on the look out for a centre-back, although it now seems that they have turned their attention elsewhere, and are now in talks to sign Athletic Bilbao’s Aymeric Laporte.
This now means that Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, who is a long-term admirer of the Northern Irishman, has a free run at the player, as he looks to add defensive reinforcements to his squad.