Duo chase Frenchman.
Arsenal and Chelsea are set to rival Sunderland for the signature of want-away Blackburn midfielder Steven N’Zonzi, according to reports.
Beleaguered Rovers boss Steve Kean admitted yesterday that N’Zonzi has handed in a transfer request at the Championship club and is set to leave after being left out of their pre-season training camp in Austria.
Sunderland appeared to be leading the chase for the 23-year-old but London giants Arsenal and Chelsea have emerged as surprise suitors for the star.
N’Zonzi was targeted by a host of clubs last January including Tottenham, Aston Villa and Stoke City but the trio were put off by Blackburn’s £10 million valuation.
The Lancashire club’s relegation has weakened their bargaining position and Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is eyeing a cut-price deal for his compatriot.
The Gunners are in the market for a defensive midfielder this summer after Wenger decided against pursuing his top target, Yann M’Vila of Rennes.
Chelsea meanwhile are prepared to challenge Wenger’s side for N’Zonzi’s signature as they embark on a major overhaul of their midfield this summer.
Sunderland boss O’Neill has not given up hope of landing the former Amiens midfielder but has limited funds to spend this summer and will be unhappy at the prospect of a bidding war with the Champions League heavyweights.
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