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French star could be in line for January Premier League switch

| 07.01.2013

Rennes’ controversial midfielder Yann M’Vila has put a host of clubs on alert this January after hinting he is ready to leave the French club.

Arsenal and Tottenham have previously been linked with the man capped 22 times by his country, before being banned by the French Football Federation until the summer of 2014 for repeated incidents of indiscipline.

With Sandro being one of the shining lights in the Spurs team under Andre Villas-Boas and Scott Parker regaining match fitness following achilles surgery, it’s hard to imagine the Portuguese coach shelling out on another defensive midfielder when they still require a player in the Luka Modric mould.

The Gunners, however, could well be tempted to put an offer in for the former Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year as the holding midfield position is an area in which they need to strengthen.

Abou Diaby’s exploits in this role contributed to some excellent early season Arsenal form that prompted the more erratic among us to suggest they had a chance of winning the title, yet he got injured (surprise, surprise) and it’s been all downhill since.

They have utilised Mikel Arteta as a screen in front of their back four since and, contrary to the chant that used to ring around the Goodison Park terraces, there are quite a few better than the Spaniard in this position.

M’Vila is one of those players and his bow is equipped with all the strings that make him a typical Arsene Wenger signing.
On top of being French, he is an athletic, strong midfielder who is as adept with the ball at his feet as he is at breaking up opposition attacks and would be the perfect replacement for the departed Alex Song.

However, with over two years remaining on his current Rennes deal, his signature won’t come cheap which, aside from his tendency to act up off the pitch, is the only blotch on his copybook as far as Wenger is concerned.

Still, as far as ability goes, M’Vila is exactly the sort of player the Gunners require if they wish to finish in this season’s top four, a feat that they’re currently priced at 17/20 to achieve.

All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date



James Middleton