Nzonzi, who was part of France’s World Cup-winning squad, has previous Premier League experience with Blackburn Rovers and Stoke City, and as such, is thought to be Arsenal’s final transfer target of the summer.
However, the 29-year-old’s high £35 million (Dh120m) release clause could prove problematic in the north London side’s attempts to get the deal over the line.
Uruguay World Cup star Lucas Torreira, goalkeeper Bernd Leno, former FC Lorient midfielder Matteo Guendouzi, ex-Borussia Dortmund ace Sokratis and veteran centre-back Stephan Lichtsteiner make up Arsenal’s summer captures so far.
Whites president Florentino Perez wants the club to continue their transfer policy of signing fledging youth players, like they have done in the summer window with the acquisitions of Brazilian Vinicius Junior and 22-year-old full-back Alvaro Odriozola from Real Sociedad.
The colossal Leicester centre-back, who enjoyed a stellar World Cup campaign at the heart of Gareth Southgate’s England defence, has been heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford.
Although the 25-year-old has not declared he wants to leave the Foxes, the lure of Champions League football and a bigger contract with one of the established top six Premier League clubs could prove too good to turn down.
Maguire arrived at Leicester from Hull last summer for just £12million (Dh57m) but is now thought to be worth £65m (Dh312m).