Arsene Wenger reveals the reason Arsenal did not sign Jonny Evans in January
Evans emerged as a target for both Arsenal and Manchester City last month but ended up staying at the Hawthorns.
Pep Guardiola dropped City’s interest in the Northern Ireland international after signing Aymeric Laporte from Athletic Bilbao, while Arsenal failed with a deadline day move worth just £12m.
Wenger admits he was interested in bringing Evans, a three-time Premier League winner with Manchester United, to the Emirates but says Arsenal were not satisfied with his valuation.
‘I said many times that we did what we wanted to do but not all that we wanted to do,’ Wenger told BT Sport when asked why the club failed to sign a defender.
‘Basically it comes down to availability. He was not available at what we could afford.’
Pressed on whether Arsenal simply ran out of funds after signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for a club-record £56m, Wenger responded: ‘You come to the conclusion you want, you know?’
Speaking at the start of the month, for the first time since the January window closed, Wenger admitted he regretted the fact that Arsenal failed to bolster his defensive options.
‘Our defensive numbers aren’t good enough,’ the Gunners boss said. ‘We needed strengthening because we have to improve our defensive numbers to make the top four.
‘I will adapt to the difficulties we face and must see how the idea I have works. We are flexible – we can play with a back three or four.’