Sevilla sporting director Joaquin Caparros has revealed that the club could sanction the sale of midfielder Steven N’Zonzi to Arsenal this summer, provided they trigger the £35m release clause written into his contract.
The former Stoke City and Blackburn Rovers man has made immense progress in his game since joining the Andalusian side in 2015 and he has of late been associated with a reunion with ex-Sevilla boss Unai Emery at Arsenal.
During an interview with Radio Seville, Caparros was asked whether N’Zonzi could join the Gunners during the summer transfer window to which the Spaniard replied in an asserting manner.
The 62-year-old started off by dismissing any contact made by the Gunners or Emery regarding the France international and he continued to stress that the midfielder would not be sold unless the escape clause in his contract is activated.
A £35m sum would be deemed relatively affordable for a club’s of Arsenal’s calibre but there are suggestions that Emery has been handed a relatively meagre pre-sales budget of just £50m for the summer.
As such, Emery has had to withhold from spending most of the budget on a single player and the Spaniard may consider offloading a couple of recruits from the squad first before spending on N’Zonzi.
Despite this, the Gunners have shown a clear intention to improve on the defensive side of their game during the summer after shipping out 51 goals during the course of the 2017/18 Premier League campaign.
The Capital outfit have already agreed to sign right-back Stephan Lichtsteiner from Juventus at the expiry of his contract this month and this is widely expected to be followed with the signing of centre-back Sokratis Papastathopoulous from Borussia Dortmund.
Both players do not appear worthwhile for the long-term but the duo are certain to provide the leadership qualities which have been questioned in previous squads under ex-boss Arsene Wenger.