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A look at how the French press got M'Vila to Arsenal wrong last summer

So Arsenal are signing Bernard? Arsene Wenger does not think so and it is not the first time reports in France have been wrong.

Arsene Wenger is said to have personally scotched rumours that the club are signing Bernard, at least dismissing L'Equipe's story from earlier in the day.

He told the Mirror's John Cross that the report is 'untrue', ditching the hopes of Arsenal fans that the club were about to make a major signing.

It is not the first time this summer or indeed in any year, that Arsenal fans have been led to believe a signing was done and dusted, only for it to turn out to be a false announcement.

Indeed when reporting L'Equipe's claims earlier today we warned that their sources were not first-hand, but reliant on word in Brazil, at least second hand information, and uncredited at that.

It brings us back to a little over 12 months ago, when similar confusion was caused by reports from France regarding another target of Arsenal.

The player concerned was Yann M'Vila, who had been linked with the Gunners for at least a year prior to that following a glowing start to his career in Ligue One with Rennes.

It was not L'Equipe but it's capital based rival Le Parisien which ran the story which got thousands if not millions of Arsenal fans' hearts racing.

"Arsenal and M'Vila are agreed"

"The English club has indeed reached an agreement with Rennes to sign Yann M'Vila, the middle of French international field. The amount of the transaction would be 22 M €, including bonuses.

"Both the player and his representatives also seem to agree with the British leaders for a four-year contract. <btn_noimpr>They had two serious tracks with Arsenal and Inter Milan. It is ultimately the Gunners who got the favors he who has 22 years on 29 June and already has 18 caps (one goal) for France.

"The completion of the transfer, however, remains linked to another factor, that of the qualification Arsenal for the next Champions League...

"...His departure to Arsenal is another important step and part of this increase. After Euro 2012, where he will no doubt one of the leaders of the Blues, it will begin a new chapter in his career and discover except incredible turnaround, the Premier League."

The report, dated May 8 last year, was shortly before Arsenal confirmed their Champions League place with a win at West Brom on the final day, and the timing somewhat reminiscent of several Gonzalo Higuain rumours claimed to be true around the same time in 2013.

M'Vila would go onto have a nightmare few months;

He was accused of an alleged assault on a teenager, and also landed himself in hot water with the FFF after late night partying when he should have been preparing for international duty. He was later banned from international football until 2014. 

In between this, injury ruined his Euro 2012, as France failed to justify their dark horse tag and no Les Bleus player really enhanced their reputation.

Any interest Arsenal had in the player was promptly dropped, and he was torn between a choice of QPR and Rubin Kazan in January, perhaps wisely electing the Russian choice.

In light of today's rumours about Bernard, which Arsene Wenger has already dismissed, it's a blatant example of how the French press got an Arsenal transfer deal quite desperately wrong, and why fans should always remain sceptical until a player is pictured on Arsenal turf clutching the red and white shirt.


image: © Julien Haler

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