Long term Arsenal target Yann M’Vila has suggested he could leave Rennes this month if a big club comes in for him, while Fernando Llorente is set to snub interest from England and join Italian giants Juventus.
M’Vila has been heavily linked with the Gunners for sometime especially since the departure of Alex Song over the summer, however his original £20m price tag put Wenger off.
The French international has however developed a bad boy reputation that led to a hefty ban from the national team until June 2014 for breaking curfew for the U21 side to visit a Paris nightclub just days before a European Championship play-off meeting against Norway in October.
Since the summer Euro 2012 competition, where he also served a one-match ban for failing to shake Giroud’s hand when substituted, it seems his evaluation has dropped as Rennes seem more determined to sell the 22-year-old who has disciplinary issues.
The combative midfielder has further fueled the exit rumours with his latest quotes from Sky Sports:
I am at Rennes at the moment so let’s see what happens.
If the club receive a good offer and I like the destination then I will go, there is no doubt about that. Until that happens, nothing can be said.
The Frenchman is reportedly worth in the region of £8m, half of what Song was sold for, and with the Spuds interested too Wenger will need to act quickly.
The 22-year-old is worth the gamble especially as Arsenal is the perfect club for him to get his career back on track. Wenger has a strong French contingent at the club to help M’Vila settle and the Gunners desperately needs an out-and-out defensive midfielder – especially one that has the ability to be world class.
The ban from the French team could work in Arsenal’s favour as he will receive sufficient rest during international breaks and over the summer. A transfer this month would allow him to settle into English life this season and be raring to go next campaign. Also the aging Arteta who turns 31-years-old this year requires more competition for the holding midfield role – and M’Vila will give him a run for his money.
Although Wenger needs a defensive midfielder, a world class striker is perhaps the most important acquisition required and many Gooners were hoping Fernando Llorente would be Gunner this month however Juventus have fended off strong interest from England and are winning the race for his signature.
The Athletic Bilbao forward has dropped down the pecking order at San Mames with his contract set to expire in the summer, the 27-year-old admitted he would leave with England high on his list of destinations. But it seems The Old Lady has beaten the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea and Spurs to the punch and looks set to sign the Spanish international after opening talks with the player.
Bilbao issued the following statement today (Thursday):
Juventus Football Club informed Athletic Club on January 3 that, knowing Fernando Llorente will end his stint at our club on June 30, 2013, they will begin negotiations with the player to incorporate him into their squad.
After missing out on Klaas-Jan Hunterlaar who signed a new deal with Schalke and now Llorente, available top quality striking options are running thin.
Demba Ba still remains a possibility especially with Chelsea’s interest helping to increase the Senegalese striker’s credibility to play for a top club, and David Villa remains a long shot however Spanish journalists Marca reported the Barca frontman may seek an exit from the Catalan giants as he seeks regular game time.
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