West Brom boss Tony Pulis has no desire to sell “outstanding” Jonny Evans but admits the Baggies could lose their star defender.
The 28-year-old has been linked with a move to Arsenal who are in desperate need of reinforcements to bolster their injury-hit defence.
Pulis praised Evans for his assured display at left-back in the Baggies’ 1-0 win at Crystal Palace last week and insists he would fight to keep him.
“The most important thing is that Jonny is with us and we want him to stay because he’s an outstanding player,” he said.
“Last Saturday, whether it was (Andros) Townsend or (Wilfried) Zaha, and it’s not Jonny’s favourite position playing as a full-back, he was most probably our best player on the pitch.
“You don’t want to lose your best players, but in football sometimes that happens.
“If it does happens, you need to make sure you know where your replacements are.”
Evans, signed from Manchester United last summer in a deal that could rise to £8million, was a stand-out player for Albion last year but is being played out of his favourite centre-back position.
Pulis said: “Have look at his performance on Saturday, his performance was fantastic. He played ever so well. The thing is with Jonny, I think he could play anywhere.
“He’s very well respected within the dressing room, he’s a lot quieter than a Fletch (Darren Fletcher) or people like that, but he does his work and he gets tremendous respect because of the way he plays.”