New Sevilla boss Vincenzo Montella has confirmed that Steven N’Zonzi has returned to the match-day squad.
Only weeks ago it looked certain that Steven N’Zonzi would depart Sevilla, with a move to the Premier League seeming likely, but now new boss Vincenzo Montella is determined to convince him to stay.
MARCA say that N’Zonzi is back training with the first team, and with the group of regular starters, since Montella arrived, and he is doing all he can to convince him to remain in Spain.
And, following Tuesday’s training, the Italian boss took the press to answer questions on the Frenchman’s future.
“N’Zonzi has trained well and whilst I don’t usually like to give my lineups a day in advance, he will be available for tomorrow and for the derby,” Montella told reporters.
“He has a great attitude and that is what I have seen from him since I have arrived, but I cannot get into his head and whether he will be here or not at the end of the season is something I do not know.
“But he has performed very well and impressed me, and that is what I can say at the moment.
“We are all excited for the derby and I can see this already from living in the city, it is a different type of match – you have to play with the heart as well as with your head.
“What I have seen so far from this squad is one which is highly motivated, with a lot of passion and we all have a great responsibility to Sevilla.
“This is a great club who have won a lot in recent years, Milan are a great team who have not won so much in recent years.”
During Monday’s training session, Montella split the squad into two teams, one of which is believed to be the side he will line-up with against Cadiz in the Copa del Rey.
N’Zonzi featured in that line-up, alongside the likes of Jesus Navas, Nolito and Luis Muriel in a 4-3-3 shape.
If talks have already begun with potential destinations, as The Sun suggested could be possible with Arsenal and Everton tracking the Frenchman, then it could be a complicated effort for the new Italian coach.
However, the ex-Blackburn Rovers and Stoke City man is seemingly a ready made fit for his preferred system, which he employed at Fiorentina and AC Milan previously.
N’Zonzi’s future remains unclear and is unlikely to be resolved until the end of January at least, but the regular game time that Montella is clearly keen to offer could prove to be decisive in persuading the midfielder that his future belongs at the Roman Sanchez Pizjuan.