Bardsley voices Evans hope

Defender eyes permanent acquisition

Evans: Bardsley backing

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Phil Bardsley hopes that Premier League survival will assist in persuading Jonny Evans to sign a permanent deal at Sunderland.

The 20-year-old is currently on loan at the Black Cats from Manchester United for a second time, and has impressed manager Roy Keane with his performances.

And with Sunderland 10 points above the relegation zone with five league games remaining, Bardsley is optimistic that Evans will agree to stay on at the Stadium of Light.

"I'm friends with Jonny and the boy will make his own decision because it's up to him at the end of the day," Bardsley told The Northern Echo.

"But he does like it here and he's a great character to have around, even though he is only a young kid.

Potential

"He's some player for a young boy, with a big head on his shoulders. He's a really good lad.

"The fact that we could well offer Premier League football next season will help enormously.

"Playing in this league week in and week out will help him to become an even better player.

"I'm sure when he sits down with his friends and family to discuss his future he will do what's best for himself.

"He will have a serious think about staying here. What's not to like about this club? It's a great club, with a top manager and the potential here is huge."