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Arsenal have been handed a massive boost in signing Steven N’Zonzi in the January transfer window.
N’Zonzi has revealed he plans to leave Sevilla after a fall-out with his manager Eduardo Berizzo.
The midfielder has been a massive success in Spain since swapping Stoke for Sevilla and his performances have alerted the attentions of Arsenal and Everton.
N’Zonzi was blamed by Berizzo for Sevilla’s dreadful first-half performance against Liverpool last month. ‘The coach pointed the finger at me [at half-time of the Liverpool game]. I will not repeat it … but his words affected me,’ N’Zonzi told France Football.
‘Publicly, he said in future he would only select players who fit his vision for football. What does that mean? ‘Whether in a 4-3-3, 3-5-2 or any other formation, a player must adapt to what his coach demands and I have always done it. ‘The fact I was always professional despite the circumstances, that I always did my job, I found it unfair.
‘My future is clearly away from Seville. The only thing that disappoints me is the way it has ended.’ Sevilla conceded three goals in 45 minutes against Liverpool before mounting a remarkable second-half comeback. N’Zonzi is familiar with the demands of the Premier League having spent three years at Stoke.
The 28-year-old has a contract with Sevilla that runs until 2020, but is currently in London and not with the squad.
However, Sevilla gave N’Zonzi permission to fly to London to visit his son and the chairman has insisted he must respect Berizzo’s decision, which seems to suggest the club are backing the manager after the bust-up. N’Zonzi has £35.2million release clause and could be available in January. Everton are believed to the current frontrunners to secure his signature.