Chelsea & Manchester City face battle to sign key target as Sevilla set hefty asking-price

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Chelsea and Manchester City will have to pay close to £30 million to sign Sevilla midfielder Steven N’Zonzi in January, according to reports stemming from Italy.

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The former Blackburn and Stoke City enforcer is garnering attention from across Europe after a series of composed displays at the heart of the Rojiblancos midfield, with Serie A giants Juventus also believed to be interested in securing his signature.

But loath to lose one of their key man midway through the season, Italian news outlet Calciomercato claims that Sevilla are set to play hard-ball over the sale of the Frenchman, and will demand his full release clause of 30 million euros in an attempt to ward off potential suitors.

nzonzi

According to the source, such a large sum has immediately deterred Juventus, who are in the market for a new defensive midfielder to ease the burden on the injury-prone Sami Khedira, while Antonio Conte’s table toppers are also believed to be reluctant to shell out on the 28-year-old given his relative lack of resale value.

This could lead to Manchester City emerging as favourites to sign the imposing pivot, as Pep Guardiola seeks to bring in cover for the long-term injured Ilkay Gundogan.

January bids are expected by the Spanish outfit, although a deal remains unlikely unless offers tabled hit the buyout clause.

A consistent but unremarkable performer during his time in the Premier League, N’Zonzi has developed into something of a talisman at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan in recent years, helping the Andalusian club to Europa League glory last season.

He has been among the top midfielders in LaLiga so far this campaign, finally adding goals to his energetic displays, and is thus deemed to be essential to the third-placed side’s hopes of achieving success in 2017.

N’Zonzi has notched three goals and one assist in 21 games for Sevilla in 2016/17 and was previously linked with moves to Everton and Leicester City over the summer.

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