LEICESTER and West Brom face ‘major battles’ to keep hold of two of their major players – Riyad Mahrez and Jonny Evans.
Unsettled Foxes playmaker Mahrez has been linked with a number of clubs, with Arsenal believed to be at the front of the queue.
The Leicester man, having won the Premier League title and been crowned Player of the Year in 2016, has become disillusioned after last season’s disappointing defence of their trophy.
Arsenal are said to be prepared to step up their bid for Mahrez after missing out on Thomas Lemar who Monaco say is not available at any price. Not even £31million.
Leicester will only part with Mahrez for something in the region of £40million – and that figure is designed to put off would-be suitors.
City, meanwhile, are reported to have made a £10million bid for West Brom defender Evans as they look to improve on last season’s average showing.
Albion, however, are apparently prepared to offer the former Manchester United defender a new £100,000 a week contract to stay.
That would bust the club’s pay structure, so they might decide to double their money on a player who cost just £6million when he joined the Baggies in 2015.
He still has two years left on his contract so they might decide to cash in – if Leicester up their £10million bid.
All open to conjecture, of course, but it seems that Evans might follow the lead of skipper Darren Fletcher who left the club for Stoke earlier this summer.
Lots of decisions to be made and new deals to be done, but managers do not come more shrewd than Tony Pulis and he will not be forced into a corner.
He’s been round the block more times than a marathon runner and does not suffer fools. He will have the final say.