Sevilla have reportedly identified Real Madrid midfielder Marcos Llorente as a possible replacement for Steven Nzonzi, who is being targetted by Arsenal
According to a report by AS, Marcos Llorente is the subject of interest from Sevilla, who are in the market for a midfielder. Los Nervionenses are eyeing the Real Madrid midfielder as a direct replacement for Steven Nzonzi, who looks set to join Arsenal in the summer transfer window.
Llorente has been a part of Real Madrid since he joined the club’s youth setup back in 2008. Over the last 10 years, the player has gradually progressed through the ranks at the Santiago Bernabeu, and was inculcated into the first-team setup last term after an impressive loan spell at Deportivo Alaves in the 2016-17 season.
However, the 23-year-old failed to establish himself as a regular this past season, with Casemiro the firm first-choice holding midfielder for Real Madrid. The youngster, thus, only got an opportunity to feature when his senior teammate was rested, eventually amassing just 1,063 minutes of action in 20 outings.
With Casemiro still in his prime and Mateo Kovacic also ahead of him in the pecking order, it is believed that Real Madrid might be open to selling the player, who will himself be better served by joining a club where he can feature regularly. And, there is no dearth of interest in Llorente, with Sevilla leading the race to sign him.
Los Nervionenses are in a precarious situation heading into the summer transfer window with Steven Nzonzi reportedly set to join Arsenal in a €40 million deal. In addition to the Frenchman, Guido Pizarro is also destined to depart from the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium, having joined Mexican side Tigres UANL.
With two key defensive midfielders leaving, Sevilla will be left with just Johannes Geis as a holding midfield option, although they are also weighing up a permanent move for Roque Mesa. However, replacing Arsenal-bound Nzonzi will not be easy which is why Real Madrid outcast Llorente is a viable target to add to Joaquin Caparros’ options.
That Real Madrid are looking for just €12-15 million in exchange for the Spaniard’s services means Sevilla are unlikely to be held back by the asking price, especially with Nzonzi’s sale to Arsenal recouping around €40 million. The hurdle in Los Nevionenses’ way is the presence of bitter rivals Real Betis in the race to sign Llorente.
However, Mikel Merino is Betis’ priority target, meaning Sevilla could swoop Llorente up quickly to stave off their rivals. This looks like a deal that is highly likely to happen unless newly appointed Real Madrid manager, Julen Lopetegui objects to the sale.