By Harvey Byrne
Sevilla midfielder Steven N’Zonzi has turned down a winter return to the Premier League with Everton, according to a report.
The Sun has claimed that the Toffees made contact with Sevilla and the 28-year-old about a January switch.
However, it is stated that the former Stoke and Blackburn ace is happy in La Liga and playing in the Champions League, and that a deal to sign him has broken down after Everton’s advances were rejected.
It is reported that Goodison Park boss Ronald Koeman has made a central midfielder his priority target for January, but he is also struggling to capture Manchester United midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin.
Everton currently boast Idrissa Gueye and Gareth Barry in their midfield ranks.
But, behind them there is a severe lack of quality in Darron Gibson, Tom Cleverley and James McCarthy, while Barry has also come in for recent criticism.
N’Zonzi would have been a clear step up from these players, but he is still a key man for a Champions League club with 22 appearances to his name in all competitions this season.
The Frenchman is proven quality in the Premier League with 195 appearances in total in the English top flight.
However, it now looks like the Merseysiders will have to look for alternative targets.
Football Insider verdict:
N’Zonzi would have been a quality addition for Everton, but Koeman needs to be realistic about his targets. It was always unlikely that the French midfielder would make a move to the Toffees, giving up Champions League football for a team competing to qualify for the Europa League. The Dutch manager should do all that he can to obtain Schneiderlin from United, who knows Koeman, wants a move and only West Brom are rivalling Everton for his signature. The former Southampton man is of similar quality to N’Zonzi and would still be a very decent addition for the club.
In other Everton transfer news, the Toffees look set to complete their first January signing in the next 24 hours.