Arsene Wenger has identified the France international as his key target after losing Jack Wilshere for five months and is prepared to break the club transfer record in new yearEXCLUSIVE
By Wayne Veysey | Chief correspondent
Arsenal will make another move for Rennes midfielder Yann M’Vila in the January transfer window after failing with their bid to capture him in August, Goal.com can reveal.
Arsene Wenger has identified the France international as his key target and has accelerated plans to bring the midfield anchorman to the Emirates Stadium after receiving the news last week that Jack Wilshere will be on the sidelines for five months.
Arsenal are prepared to shatter their transfer record to land M’Vila by bidding in excess of €29 million (£25m) for the 21-year-old.
The Gunners were named by Rennes coach Frederic Antonetti as one of four Champions League clubs to make offers of “around €30m [£26.5m]” for the player in August.
Arsenal’s scouting team have continued to keep close tabs on the player, who has started all nine of Rennes’ Ligue 1 matches this season and is set to add to his 13 international caps when France take on Albania on Friday and Bosnia-Herzegovina four days later in their Euro 2012 qualifiers.
M’Vila is contracted to Rennes until 2015 but Arsenal believe there is a strong will on the player’s behalf to follow what is a well-trodden path from Ligue 1 to north London. The French club were unwilling to sell the midfield enforcer in the final days of the August window because they had no time to find an adequate replacement.
Wenger will rotate Mikel Arteta, Alex Song and Aaron Ramsey with rookies Emmanuel Frimpong and Francis Coquelin in the three central midfield berths between now and January.
But Goal.com understands that Wenger is privately concerned about how much of an impact Wilshere will have this season as the manager attempts to end the club’s six-year trophy drought.
Even if Wilshere’s recovery from ankle surgery last week goes smoothly and it corresponds to the 22-week schedule mapped out by the club’s medical department, by the time the teenager returns to the team in late February or early March, he will have been out for seven months in total.