Buying talent from France is second nature to Arsene Wenger and there is a strong chance that Yann M’Vila may become the next new arrival in the summer, albeit for a club record sum.
Wenger was especially prolific in digging into the French transfer market in his early days at Arsenal, with Emmanuel Petit, Robert Pires, Nicolas Anelka and Sylvain Wiltord among his more high-profile signings.
Things have slowed down in recent times with Wenger also looking elsewhere for new recruits, but this has not prevented Marouane Chamakh, Park Chu-young, Bacary Sagna being plucked from French football.
Marseille’s Andre Ayew was another from Ligue One being targeted this summer, but developments regarding his minimum release fee may stop Wenger making an offer.
Ayew recently signed a one-year contract extension at Marseille to keep him at the club until 2015, with the main purpose of the deal being that the release clause of the winger has reportedly increased slightly to approximately £15m.
This is a sum Wenger may be unwilling to part with, especially given the options he has in the wide areas at present, even if Andrei Arshavin leaves.
However, Wenger does seem prepared to spend big to sign M’Vila at the second time of asking, after the Frenchman opted to stay at Rennes last summer under the premise that he would not be prevented from leaving at the end of the current campaign.
M’Vila is likely to be one of football’s hottest properties when his talents are more greatly recognised and Real Madrid are one club that are known to also be monitoring his situation.
Yet Arsenal are thought to be his referred destination because they are managed by a Frenchman, which M’Vila believes “changes everything”.
Arsenal face Manchester City next and a victory at the Emirates would put them on the brink of confirming Champions League football for next season.
It is 6/4 in the Premier League odds that Arsenal triumph over Manchester City.