Sam Allardyce might have only been in his new job as Everton manager for less than a week, but he is already rumoured to be bringing one of his former players to the club.
Steven N’Zonzi played under Allardyce whilst he was at Blackburn Rovers and Allardyce is known to be a big fan of the Frenchman, admitting last year that he had hoped to call him up to the England squad, but N’Zonzi was ineligible due to an Under 21s appearance for his home country.
The 28-year-old went on to play for Stoke City before moving to Sevilla where he has progressed into a first-team regular for the Champions League side and played a key role in the Europa League winning side that beat Liverpool in the 2016 final.
Trouble in Spain
Reports from Spanish newspaper AS suggest that N’Zonzi has been forced to train alone following a row with the coaching staff.
This has been supported by the fact that he has not been included in the matchday squad for Sevilla since he was substituted at half-time in their 3-3 Champions League draw with Liverpool.
This falling out between the two parties could lead to N’Zonzi being available at a cut rate in January as Sevilla manager Eduardo Berizzo tries to offload him from his playing staff.
Schneiderlin on his way out?
N’Zonzi may be a replacement for Morgan Schneiderlin who has struggled to find form at Goodison Park this season, following a stellar second half to last year after he was signed from Manchester United.
Schneiderlin reportedly left a training session alongside Kevin Mirallas less than a month ago after Duncan Ferguson accused him of a lack of commitment.
Both of their futures with the Toffees are currently in doubt and a like for like replacement of Schneiderlin with N’Zonzi would seem to be very likely considering their similar playing style.
Who else is interested?
Everton could face some tough competition for N’Zonzi’s signature however as Arsenal and Juventus are both rumour to be keeping a close eye on developments in his situation.
Juventus had shown interest in the Frenchman last year, but he chose to stay with Sevilla signing a new contract which extended his deal in Spain till 2020.
Both of those teams are huge names and Everton will have a fight on their hands to get N'Zonzi should they be challenged for him by either, but if Everton guaranteed him first-team football it's possible that we could see N'Zonzi in a Toffees shirt.
The French international is also being linked with a possible move across Stanley Park to Liverpool if midfielder Emre Can departs during the winter window.