Arsenal reignite pursuit of long-term midfield target amid contract doubts

Date published: Tuesday 12th January 2021 7:33 - Samuel Bannister

Arsenal could try to hijack a deal for France midfielder Steven Nzonzi in January, according to a report.

Nzonzi is currently on loan at Rennes from Roma, where he failed to reach his usual standards after moving to Italy in 2018.

Back in his homeland since January 2020, Nzonzi has found his feet again. He was a key factor in helping Rennes qualify for the Champions League last season.

His loan with them still runs until the end of the season, but a change of scenery could be on the cards.

According to Foot Mercato, Roma could cancel his loan at Rennes this month with a view to offloading him permanently. With his deal with his parent club running out in 2022, they want to cash in while they still can.

Rennes would like to offer him a permanent deal. But there is also interest in the World Cup winner from the Premier League.

Nzonzi previously made his name in England with Blackburn Rovers and Stoke City. Now, he has bigger admirers in the English top flight.

According to the report, Arsenal and Everton are interested in his services. The Premier League duo could stand in the way of Rennes’ negotiations.


Nzonzi is said to be hesitant over whether to accept Rennes’ offer, as he knows other clubs could move for him. He may be alerted by the chance to return to the Premier League.

Arsenal are looking for another midfielder this month. They wanted to sign Houssem Aouar from Lyon as well as Thomas Partey last summer, but could only bring in the latter.

Therefore, they are still looking for a reinforcement. It had been thought they would target a more creative player, but Nzonzi could add further steel to their engine room.

Indeed, they have been linked with the player for several years, so could finally seize their chance.

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Everton, meanwhile, have invested in their midfield in recent months. They brought in Allan and Abdoulaye Doucoure during the summer transfer window.

However, they could still make an additional signing in the position to give them a boost for the second half of the season.

Guendouzi could return

Matteo Guendouzi Arsenal

Another French midfielder who could be playing at the Emirates Stadium soon is Matteo Guendouzi.

The youngster fell out of favour towards the end of last season, so left on loan for Hertha Berlin.

He has since impressed with his performances in Germany. Therefore, there have been claims that Arsenal could reintegrate him by cutting his loan short.

That may close up the space in the squad that Nzonzi could take, or perhaps they could still make a move for the 32-year-old.

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