Steven N’Zonzi is keen to move back to the Premier league with London his preferred destination as that’s where his ex-wife and child live according to a report from Italy.

France's midfielder Steven N'Zonzi looks at the 2018 World Cup trophy during a ceremony to celebrate the victory of the 2018 World Cup before the lap of honour at the end of the UEFA Nations League football match between France and Netherlands at the Stade de France stadium, in Saint-Denis, northern of Paris, on September 9, 2018. (Photo by Franck FIFE / AFP)
France’s midfielder Steven N’Zonzi looks at the 2018 World Cup trophy during a ceremony to celebrate the victory of the 2018 World Cup before the lap of honour at the end of the UEFA Nations League football match between France and Netherlands at the Stade de France stadium, in Saint-Denis, northern of Paris, on September 9, 2018. (Photo by Franck FIFE / AFP)

If you believe recent reports, Unai Emery is a big fan of Steven N’Zonzi, the former Stoke man he managed at Villarreal.

The line about N’Zonzi is contained in an article mostly focusing on Monchi coming to London, with Roma considering Faggiano and Mirabelli as possible replacements.

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Leggo 27 February 2019

The article reads, via Google translate:

“ROME – One of Saturday could be the last derby of the roman Monchi. The road that leads to London side Arsenal, it seems more and more plain. Also Emery, the coach of the Gunners who worked with Ramon in Seville, yesterday issued statements that they know to confirm: “I Know the club is working to understand how we can improve and how we can do better with the people that work for us, both in the present and in the future. But it is a matter that concerns the company. I, my staff and the players, we are focused on the next two matches”.

“Emery, in addition to Monchi, he could find himself at Arsenal as well Nzonzi, who has already trained in Seville in 2015-2016. The French can’t wait to get back in the Premier because in London living with the child together with his ex-wife. Instead of Monchi should be promoted, the couple Massara-Balzaretti, but remain alive the names of Faggiano and Mirabelli. This last one yesterday, has spoken to Rmc: “I to Rome? I’m seeing so many things in Italy and abroad, I am waiting for a project that makes me enjoy the fruits of my labor”.”

But is the midfielder really like to move to Arsenal in the summer? Let’s look at things a little more closely…

Steven N’Zonzi

nzonzi 2
Steven N’Zonzi

On Tuesday night, TuttoMercatoWeb posted an article claiming N’Zonzi’s ‘adventure to Rome’ could last just one season, as Unai Emery wants him at Arsenal. However, they aren’t the original source of the information.

TuttoMercatoWeb cite the Daily Mirror, without linking to them, of course. A quick Google search reveals that the only article written on N’Zonzi by the Mirror in the last month is this one, from a week ago. As you can see, that’s not the source of the rumour either, since the Mirror link back to Calciomercatonews.

The original Calciomercatonews piece on 18th February (nine days ago now) names Arsenal along with Tottenham Hotspur as possible destinations for N’Zonzi this summer. However, they don’t even mention Emery’s name once. Plus, Calciomercatonews isn’t exactly the pinnacle of reliability for transfer stories.

To sum up, this rumour appears to be based on nothing but linking around in circles to old unreliable gossip stories and adding in information to make it more believable.

However, with Aaron Ramsey leaving for Juventus and Mesut Özil possibly following him, it isn’t off the table that Arsenal might look to sign a midfielder or two this summer.

Click ‘Next’ to find out some of the more likely signings they’ve been linked to

Pablo Fornals

VALENCIA, SPAIN - DECEMBER 04: Pablo Fornals of Malaga CF celebrates after scoring his team's first goal during the La Liga match between Valencia CF and Malaga CF at Mestalla stadium on December 4, 2016 in Valencia, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
  • Age: 23
  • Position: Attacking Midfield
  • Club: Villarreal
  • Contract until: 2022
  • Estimated market value: £27m

TeamTalk recently claimed in an exclusive that the Gunners face competition from Manchester City and Spurs for the 23-year-old Villarreal star. They write that Arsenal even considered a move in January. That didn’t end up happening, of course, presumably due to the financial restrictions in the winter window.

However, TeamTalk claim Fornals knows he could earn more by moving to the Premier League than any of his other options, and his €25m release clause is proving appealing to all three English sides.

Arsenal have been linked with Fornals for some time now. In fact, he was once named as a possible Santi Cazorla replacement long before we even knew Santi would be leaving.

An established first-team regular with Malaga before paying his own release clause of £10m to join Villarreal in 2017, Fornals has four goals and four assists this season in 35 games. He’s an attacking midfielder with a strong shot from distance, who loves a tackle and is able to hold onto the ball well.

The Spaniard also currently wears the number 8 in Spain, a shirt which will be up for grabs in North London this summer.

Houssem Aouar

Aouar Lyon midfielder
Lyon’s French midfielder Houssem Aouar celebrates after scoring a goal during the Europa League (C3) football match Olympique Lyonnais (OL) versus Everton FC on November 2, 2017 at the Groupama Stadium in Decines-Charpieu, central-eastern France. Picture: JEFF PACHOUD/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Age: 20
  • Position: Central Midfield
  • Club: Olympique Lyon
  • Contract until: 2023
  • Estimated market value: £36m

Arsenal are also tracking Olympique Lyonnais star Houssem Aouar, according to reports.

The Daily Mail write that Arsenal have been scouting Aouar for the last 18 months, and they consider him someone who could replace Aaron Ramsey in North London, but the same could be true of Mesut Özil. The Lyon midfielder’s performances in this season’s Champions League have reportedly particularly caught Unai Emery’s eye.

The Week write that Aouar is ‘near the top’ of Emery’s list of players to sign. Although Chelsea were initially planning to rival Arsenal for the 20-year-old’s signature, they then turned their attention to Borussia Dortmund’s Christian Pulisic instead.

Aouar has six goals and five assists in 34 appearances for Lyon this season. He’s mostly playing in central midfield but has also spent some time on the left.

The youngster has also scored in both of his most recent u21 appearances for France. There were rumours that he might get a senior call-up before he picked up a knock immediately before the last international break.

A strong passer who contributes well defensively and counter-attacks impressively, Aouar could fit well in Emery’s side. We’ll see if Arsenal decide to move for him in the next couple of windows.

Ruben Neves

WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 03: Ruben Neves of Wolves scores from the penalty spot during the Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Tottenham Hotspur at Molineux on November 03, 2018 in Wolverhampton, United Kingdom. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 03: Ruben Neves of Wolves scores from the penalty spot during the Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Tottenham Hotspur at Molineux on November 03, 2018 in Wolverhampton, United Kingdom. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
  • Age: 21
  • Position: Defensive Midfield
  • Club: Wolves
  • Contract until: 2023
  • Estimated market value: £36m

Arsenal and Manchester City are interested in Wolverhampton Wanderers midfielder Ruben Neves, who prefers to stay in the Premier League than move abroad, according to reports in Portugal.

Neves certainly wouldn’t be a direct replacement for Mesut Özil or Aaron Ramsey, playing a much more defensive role, but that would be fairly consistent with a lot of Unai Emery’s teams this season.

The Neves story actually started in Italy, with Tuttosport (via Sport Witness) reporting that Juventus had met with Jeorge Mendes over a possible move for the Wolves man. However, Portuguese outlet Record then took over, claiming Neves would rather stay in the Premier League, where he’s already wanted by Arsenal and Manchester City.

Neves has been a crucial part of Wolves’ success over the last season and a half. After leaving Porto for the then Championship side, the midfielder helped his new team on an impressive promotion push. Since then, he’s been just as effective in the Premier League.

The 21-year-old is a very well rounded midfielder. He can pass, he has a deadly long-shot, he can take free kicks, and he’s also good at winning the ball back and staying focused out of possession.

Playing a more defensive position in the Wolves side, Neves perhaps doesn’t get involved in the goals as much as other midfielders. That’s not really his job though. Nonetheless, he has scored a couple of league goals this season, including one against Spurs and one against Liverpool.

Isco

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Isco during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid CF at Camp Nou on December 3, 2016, in Barcelona, Spain.
  • Age: 26
  • Position: Attacking Midfield
  • Club: Real Madrid
  • Contract until: 2022
  • Estimated market value: £67.5m

Arsenal are reportedly watching the situation of Real Madrid playmaker Isco, as the 26-year-old struggles to start under new boss Santiago Solari.

Since Solari took over as manager of the La Liga side, Isco has found himself on the bench or out of the squad completely on almost every occasion. His only starts have come in cup games or dead rubber group stage matches.

It’s not as if Real are particularly suffering without him either. Their form seems roughly the same regardless of whether he’s there or not. As a result, the rumours of an Isco exit are starting to return.

The Daily Mail write that Arsenal are ‘watching the situation’, and they list the club as one of three Premier League sides the midfielder could end up joining. The other two are Chelsea and Manchester City, so it’s fair to say there’s competition.

The Mail also go on to point out that although Isco has played under Emery before, at Valencia, the two didn’t necessarily always see eye-to-eye. The Real Madrid man felt he deserved more first-team game time, after making most of his appearances for the Valencia B team in 2009/10 and 2010/11. He then left for Malaga in 2011.

Nonetheless, Emery did give the playmaker his senior debut, so there are positives and negatives to the story. Perhaps the Arsenal head coach could rekindle the relationship now that Isco is an established player.

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