French defensive midfielder Yann M'Vila is no stranger to transfer talk. He spent most of the summer of 2012 being linked with a move to the Emirates, before his off-field antics were reported to have made Arsene Wenger shy away from his signature.
The Les Bleus badboy, is presently suspended from all international football until June 2014 for late night partying on while on duty, ended up clinching a January move from Rennes to Russian side Rubin Kazan, snubbing Harry Redknapp's QPR in the process.
The 23-year-old has played 21 matches for Kazan since signing, who presently sit 10th of 16 teams in the Russian Premier League.
Now Russian newspaper Izvestia reports Roberto Martinez's Everton have made an approach to sign M'Vila in January as they seek to strengthen their midfield base amid their goal to achieve European qualification.
They report: "The English club intends to acquire the midfielder in the winter transfer window, and consider M'Vila as a replacement for the departed Marouane Fellaini."
Everton did sign Gareth Barry on loan, who may well re-sign on a free transfer when his contract expires at the end of the season, but Everton will be looking to re-invest some of the Fellaini cash and sign a younger player to shield the defence from midfield.
Yann M'Vila would fit that profile, but their interest and M'Vila's potential availability could serve to re-ignite previous interest from league leaders Arsenal.
Arsenal's lack of a specialist defensive midfielder has been illustrated in the games against Dortmund and Chelsea which Mathieu Flamini missed, and signing another is said to be a priority for Arsene Wenger, with West Brom's Youssuf Mulumbu linked in recent days.
M'Vila remains a player with excellent potential, who could learn from the experienced Flamini at Arsenal, and become the enforcer the Gunners' midfield need. With the financial firepower to out-muscle Everton, it would simply depend on how much Arsene Wenger wants to player and will have come around to the idea of signing him.
His agent Werder Baader refused to rule out a January move, telling Izvestia: "At the moment, M'Vila is under contract with "Ruby", and his team are satisfied. Let's see what will happen next winter."
Don't be surprised if the Frenchman finally makes a move to the Premier League next year, and if Everton can beat competitors to his signature, it could be a real coup.
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image: © Paulo Pabis