The Andalusian club is preparing for the 29-year-old France international’s departure and identified 23-year-old Real Madrid midfielder Marcos Llorente as his ideal replacement.
The former Blackburn Rovers and Stoke City midfielder previously worked with new Gunners head coach Unai Emery when the Spaniard was in charge at the Ramon Sanchez Pijuan, winning the 2016 Europa League thanks to a 3 – 1 win over Liverpool in Basel.
N’Zonzi is understood to have a £35m release clause in his contract, which is deterring a firm offer from the north London club. The Gunners are hoping the arrival of Llorente, 23, will relieve some of the financial pressure on the Swedish club.
Arsenal are looking to strengthen their midfield with questions hanging over the futures of Jack Wilshere, 26, and Aaron Ramsey, 27. The former England international is expected to leave the Emirates when his contract expires at the end of this month after failing to receive reassurances from Emery that he will be given a regular place in the starting line-up.
Ramsey, meanwhile, is negotiating his next deal with his current contract expiring in 2019 with Arsenal considering selling the Welshman if he doesn’t sign a new deal this summer.