Everton manager Sam Allardyce is confident of luring Sevilla midfielder and mooted Arsenal and West Ham United target Steven N'Zonzi to Merseyside when the January transfer window opens as he looks bring balance to a lop-sided squad at Goodison Park.
N'Zonzi, who has a €40m ($47.5m, £35.6m) release clause in his contract with Eduardo Berizzo's side, who have not lost at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan in over a year, has made it clear that he wishes to leave Andalusia as soon as possible and has been spotted in London on more than one occasion, though his visits to the English capital have apparently been for family reasons.
N'Zonzi's presence in London heightened speculation over a move to Arsenal, but Everton are certainly not going to allow Arsene Wenger's men a free pass at the Frenchman and are looking to thrash out a loan move with a view to a permanent deal in January, according to the Mirror.
Everton boss Allardyce, who is yet to taste defeat at Goodison ahead of the Toffees' clash with Premier League champions Chelsea on Saturday (23 December), signed N'Zonzi for just £500,000 from Ligue 1 outfit Amiens in 2009 and tried to have the 29-year-old registered to play for England during his brief spell in charge of the Three Lions last year.
Everton will have to fend off interest in N'Zonzi from Arsenal and West Ham United, who are planning to hold talks with the midfielder this week. But the Toffees believe they are at the head of the queue for the former Stoke City star's signature, with the Paris Saint-Germain youth graduate destined to leave Spain after falling out with manager Eduardo Berizzo, who returned to the dugout just three weeks after being diagnosed with prostate cancer.
"My future is clearly elsewhere than in Seville," N'Zonzi said when asked about speculation linking him with Arsenal a couple of weeks ago. "The only thing that disappoints me is the manner in which this is ending.
"It could be interesting for the club to sell me. There is always a business side, in football. But what bothers me is the way it's going. It had never been bad with a coach before. I never had that kind of problem."