Well, well, well, now here’s a story that’s drawing attention away from the ever-popular fruit machines at the Transfer Tavern; a trio of England’s largest clubs duking it out for the signature of a young Frenchman from an obscure club in the French top flight – how bizarre.
He’s mostly unknown in these here parts, but Rennes midfielder Yann M’Vila is being strongly linked with a €16milllion move to the Premier League, with Spurs, Liverpool and Chelsea thought to be interested in the combative Frenchman. All three English clubs had representatives at Rennes game with Marseille last Friday in order to scout M’Vila.
M’Vila is a 20-year-old defensive midfielder who has been with Rennes since making his professional debut in 2009. Originally from Amiens, M’Vila has represented France at every level all the way from U-16 in 2006 to his debut as a full international in 2010 against Norway. His performances for Rennes have earned him rave reviews across France and Les Rouges et Noirs are currently flying high in Ligue 1.
Having finished 9th last term, the Breton club, whose best ever finish in the French top flight is 4th, are in 2nd position at the moment, three points off the top. Part of the reason for their impressive league position has been the defensive and distribution qualities of M’Vila, who has an excellent engine and a keen eye for a pass.
For me, it seems very unlikely that Harry Redknapp would want to sign M’Vila, in a relatively defensive area of central midfield, ‘Appy ‘Arry has Tom Huddlestone, Wilson Palacios and Sandro to pick from. Palacios’s form has been patchy at best for the last year, but Tom Huddlestone had been producing the best form of his career prior to his current 4-month injury layoff, and perhaps most importantly, the young Brazilian Sandro is really starting to prove himself in that defensive role.
M’Vila could struggle to find a place in Chelsea’s midfield, with Michael Essien currently dead-cert for the central midfield role the young Frenchman would covet. At just 20, it’s possible that M’Vila could learn from his peers before forcing his way into the team, however, as a full French international it seems unlikely that the dynamic midfielder would want to move to England for a cosy place on the bench.
Liverpool, by contrast, have not adequately replaced Xabi Alonso or Javier Mascherano, with the likes of Christian Poulsen entirely failing to convince and Lucas producing inconsistent form. M’Vila would enter the squad in the summer and immediately challenge those two players for a place in the team, which would be a boost to the squad, and should he prove successful, his age would allow for a long career at Anfield.
It seems then that Liverpool is the most likely destination for €16million man M’Vila, but with Spurs and Chelsea keeping an eye on the young Frenchman, his options are open should he choose to leave Ligue 1 for the glittering lights of the Premier League.
For more rumour, speculation, thoughts and theories, follow me on Twitter: @stuartcfootball
Click here to comment on this articleor
Give us feedback on your Football Transfer Tavern experience