Steven N’Zonzi is ready to force a move to Arsenal, according to multiple reports.
The powerful midfielder, who has been compared, if a little ambitiously, to Patrick Vieira, has turned in a transfer request as he aims to leave Sevilla this summer, as per The Daily Mail.
The 29-year-old enjoyed impressive three-year spells with Blackburn and Stoke respectively, leaving the latter in 2015 to become an aggressive anchor man in Andalusia.
The Europa League winner has only been kept out of the France starting eleven due to the form of N’Golo Kante and Blaise Matuidi, who are younger and perhaps cover a bit more ground, but his exceptional displays in Spain have seen him linked with a return to the Premier League.
He will be keen to once again work under Unai Emery, with whom he has enjoyed a successful working relationship; the 46-year-old has pinpointed his former colleague as somebody who would add solidity and presence in central areas.
Midfield is clearly an area Sven Mislintat has worked hard to improve, with Lucas Torreira is set to be officially announced as a new signing and Ever Banega has also been linked. These developments do not bode too well for Mohamed Elneny, who gave everything last season but is perhaps too limited for Emery’s liking.
N’Zonzi has a £35m release clause in his contract at the Ramon Sanchez Pijuan but Spanish news outlet, EFE reports that N’Zonzi’s father has informed the club in writing that his son wants to leave.
His relationship with Sevilla is not at the best and could be allowed to leave for a cut-price fee of around £22M, which may be more in line with our current budgetary capabilities.
It’s important that we don’t over-spend on this deal given that we already have Torreira and still need to strengthen other areas, especially the flanks.
If the price is right however and if Emery trusts N’Zonzi, then he should be given our full backing.