Arsenal and Everton are expected to go head-to-head for a World Cup winner’s signing this month. He could be available for free.
Arsenal and Everton are far from achieving their targets for the Premier League season as the two sides continue to underperform and remain inconsistent. The Gunners find themselves rooted at eleventh, whereas the Toffees, although fourth at present are unlikely to be able to sustain the short run of form until the end of the season.
Both sides have a common issue and that is the creative department. Mikel Arteta has come under the scanner since axing Mesut Ozil and his side had made its worst start to a league campaign. The north Londoners, although now part of a steady ship, are still in the bottom half of the league table and need some inspiration.
Carlo Ancelotti meanwhile needs an experienced creative midfielder as Allan and James Rodriguez have both slowed down after convincing starts to the season. The Italian boss has shortlisted French international Steven Nzonzi, who also happens to be a primary target for Arsenal. According to Foot Mercato, he could be available this month.
Nzonzi has a contract with Roma until June 2022, but continuous loan spells, his latest being with French minnows Rennes, have left the player frustrated. The 32-year-old is keen on moving onto a greener pasture and would like to have his contract terminated. In the event that he reaches an agreement with Roma, Nzonzi will be a free agent soon.
Given that his signing will not involve any transfer fees or strong negotiations, it is likely that Arsenal and Everton will step up to sign him. The Gunners are also close to parting ways with Ozil and that may allow them to add Nzonzi to the squad by luring him with an attractive budget. Everton lack the monetary prowess, which makes them second favourites.
Steven Nzonzi will be a good short-term signing for Arsenal. Even though he is 32, he has a good vision and great control on the ball. A role that has been fulfilled by Alexandre Lacazette could be handed to a more experienced player, which may prove pivotal for Arsenal, who seek to turn a corner in the second half of the season.