The Mirror have today reported that Sevilla will sell Steven Nzonzi to Arsenal as long as his release clause, a fee rumoured to be around the £35m mark, is offered (Mirror).
The World Cup winning midfielder worked under new Arsenal boss Unai Emery at Sevilla and it was under Emery that the Frenchman helped the Spanish club win the 2015/16 Europa League in his debut season. After replacing N’Golo Kante in the 55th minute of the World Cup Final, the former Blackburn Rovers and Stoke City man impressed alongside Paul Pogba as his side won the World Cup for the second time in their history.
If Arsenal were to sign the 29-year-old, Emery would be no short of midfield options for his debut season in North London. The 6′ 5″ midfielder would join the likes of Mohamed Elneny, Granit Xhaka, Aaron Ramsey, Mesut Ozil and Lucas Torreira in the battle for a starting role. If signed, it is likely that Sevilla’s current number 15 will start for the club in the holding midfield role and would provide some much-needed stability and physicality to an Arsenal midfield that has gone missing in big games in recent seasons.
In spite of a move to Arsenal being a high possibility, the Gunners are not the only club interested in the player’s signature. La Gazzetta dello Sport have stated that Nzonzi is also of interest to Roma’s Director of Football Monchi, the man who signed the Frenchman for Sevilla in 2015, as reported in The Daily Express earlier today (The Daily Express).
It now looks as though the battle to sign the defensive midfielder will be contested between two former Sevilla colleagues, Emery and Monchi, who had great success together in Andalusia.
If Arsenal do secure their midfield target, then perhaps their search for a Patrick Vieira replacement can finally be called off 13 years after the club captain left Highbury.