Sandwiched in between William Carvalho and Radamel Falcao in the rumour mill’s greatest hits, big, bad Yann M’Vila is back in town and hungry to swallow up transfer column inches.
The French international allegedly has Arsenal, Liverpool and Everton on red alert as his Rubin Kazan future has been plunged into jeopardy.
A good buddy of Reds centre-half Mamadou Sakho, M’Vila is sure to be keen on an Anfield switch, where the Merseysiders are 11/10 to prevail after giving Sunderland a two-goal head start in their upcoming clash.
Kazan coach Rinat Bilyaletdinov doubts the £10.5m midfielder is good enough to join archenemies of the club his son Diniyar used to turn out for, citing in Russian media that the 23-year-old perhaps isn’t as able as he believes.
He’s also moved to assure the currently injured former Rennes star he won’t be sauntering back into the starting line up once he’s regained fitness.
Reading between the lines, it becomes apparent that Bilyaletdinov isn’t a big fan of M’Vila and his short stint in Russia could prove little more than a brief stop off on a long-winded route to the Premier League, but which of the aforementioned three clubs should he join?
After watching the Reds decimate Everton 4-0 in the Merseyside derby from the stands, M’Vila has a vested interest in Anfield affairs, but would struggle to get on the pitch.
It’s unlikely he’d be able to command a starting berth in a midfield that guarantees places for Steven Gerrard and Jordan Henderson, however, meaning he’d be forced to compete for the holding role with Lucas and the ever-improving Joe Allen.
The Gunners need for a combative holding-midfielder was never more evident than in their 6-0 demolition at the hands of Chelsea and M’Vila’s all-action approach would be well-suited to the north Londoners’ style.
Arsene Wenger is a known admirer of his on-field antics, but it’s off-field behaviour that’s prevented the Frenchman making a move in the past and is likely to scupper a potential summer transfer too.
Gareth Barry may still not sign on permanently at Goodison Park and a strong performer in the anchorman role is vital to Roberto Martinez’s system.
M’Vila is definitely capable and would be almost assured of first-team football with the Toffees should he stay fit.
If Martinez can find a way to keep the French international’s temper in check then he could be acquiring a real gem, irrespective of what his current boss will have you believe.