Sevilla midfielder Steven N'Zonzi could make a long-awaited return to the Premier League this month, after falling out of favour at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán Stadium.
Arsenal were rumoured to be interested in signing the 29-year-old. However, with the north London side now turning their attention to getting a deal for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang over the line, Everton have taken the lead in a race to secure N'Zonzi's signature.
According to the Times, Everton have an 80% chance of luring N'Zonzi to Goodison Park before the deadline on January 31.
Despite already identifying targets in the January transfer window, James McCarthy's recent injury has shifted the Toffees' focus to signing a defensive midfielder and N'Zonzi is their top target.
The French international midfielder first moved to England in 2009 after impressing scouts with his performances at SC Amiens. N'Zonzi then moved to Ewood Park to join Blackburn Rovers - who were managed by Sam Allardyce - and spent three years in Lancashire before completing a £4m move to Stoke City in 2012.
The 29-year-old accumulated almost 200 Premier League appearances before moving to La Liga, with N'Zonzi largely remaining an underrated player throughout his time in England.
N'Zonzi has gone on to make 114 appearances for Sevilla and is held in high regard by many across Europe. However, the powerful midfielder no longer appears to be in Vincenzo Montella's plans and could look to secure first-team football elsewhere.