M’Vila puts Arsenal move on hold

French midfielder Yann M’Vila has stated that he is entirely focused on the Euros at the present moment and will sort out his future only after the huge summer tournament is over.

The Rennes defensive midfielder has long been linked with a move to Arsenal but he isn’t keen on discussing his future right now. The 21-year-old who has been likened to Arsenal great Patrick Vieira is facing a race against time to be fit for the tournament opener against England next Monday.

M’Vila said: ‘People have compared me to Makelele and Vieira, and I take that as a big compliment. ‘

Les Bleus coach Laurent Blanc recently stated that he is hopeful of a ‘pleasant surprise’ and is optimistic about the player’s chances to be fit for England in Donetsk.

‘My present at the moment is France,’ said M’Vila. ‘After the Euros we will see what happens with my future. There are many options open and I still don’t know what will happen.

‘We will have to talk about everything in a relaxed way but I don’t think my signing for another club will depend on what happens in the Euros.’

The Rennes star was quick to drop a subtle hint towards Arsenal being his preferred destination this summer.

‘Do I like the Premier League? Who doesn’t?’ he added to Goal.com.

With M’Vila deciding to keep club future on hold, Wenger will have to wait till the Euros are over to find out if they can land the player. A good Euro performance can only increase the player’s price and Wenger will be left cursing himself. What do you think will happen?

Barcelona eye Bilbao’s Martinez

Barcelona have set their sights on Athletic Bilbao’s talented midfielder Javi Martinez who is also on the radar of plenty of top clubs over Europe including Manchester United and Arsenal.

The 23 year old has been one of the pillars of the Bilbao side which reached two cup finals in the last season but ended up without any trophies as they were beaten to them by Atletico Madrid and Barcelona. Marcelo Bielsa has recently put pen to paper a 3 year extension at the club and Martinez foresees better times at Bilbao under Bielsa.

“The fact that Bielsa is staying is great news for the club. I think he wants to continue on the work he has done so far and give continuity to the group,” Martinez was quoted as saying.

Sir Alex Ferguson has been a long term admirer of the Spaniard and has been closely following the progress of the player over the last season. Fergie could be tempted to sign the versatile Martinez as he looks to find a suitable replacement for Paul Scholes who has agreed a further one year extension at the club. However, with many top clubs in the fray the player wouldn’t come cheap. Martinez says that he is flattered to be linked to top sides but he is entirely focused on the Euros at the present moment.

“The fact I’m being linked with Barcelona is a sign that I’m playing well but I’m not thinking about any of that, I’m concentrating on the Euros and trying to get as many minutes as possible with the national team,” Martinez said.

“There’s a lot of talk about potential transfers but both [Fernando] Llorente and I have contracts.”

“I’m not thinking about leaving. I’m an Athletic player, if you ask me what I think about being a target for Barcelona then I will say that’s just a sign that I’m doing well. But I’m at home at Athletic and I have a contract.”

Arsenal are also reportedly interested in the player but Bilbao’s evaluation of the player could prove to be too much for the Londoners to meet.

Barcelona give up on Silva, considering Arsenal defender

Barcelona have turned to Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen after giving up on Thiago Silva as Milan remain adamant about the player not being for sale.

Milan are determined to hold on to their Brazilian defender and in spite of attracting interest from a host of top clubs which included Barcelona, Manchester City and PSG, Silva looks set to stay on at San Siro. Dortmund defender Mats Hummels was another option for the Catalan giants but the player recently committed his future to the Bundesliga champions. Tito Vilanova has therefore shifted his focus on to an easier target, Arsenal’s Belgian stopper Vermaelen.

The 26 year old defender is currently with Belgian national side for the Euros and has only recently expressed his desire to stay on at Arsenal. However, it is to be seen if the Arsenal officials could resist any tempting offers that might come their way if Vilanova decides to follow up on his apparent interest.

The new Barcelona coach is in search of a defender to shore up his defense and with the unavailability of Thiago Silva and Hummels, he could look towards Vermaelen. Will the Belgian stay put in London?

United to bid for Modric

Manchester United are set to offer a sum in excess of £20m to prize away Tottenham’s Croatian midfielder Luka Modric to Old Trafford this summer.

Sir Alex Ferguson has been a long term admirer of the Spurs midfielder and is looking to him as a long term replacement for Paul Scholes. The 70 year old United boss has tried to find Scholes’ successor from within the club but with injuries to Tom Cleverley and Anderson last season, the Old Trafford great had to be summoned back from retirement by the Scotsman. The manager is not willing to take any chances this season and is keen to bring Modric to bolster his midfield as he looks to regain the premiership title from their city rivals.

Modric has long been wanting out of Spurs as he handed in a transfer request for the second time in as many seasons. Chelsea were close to signing him a year back but club chairman Daniel Levy did not let him leave as he was key to the club’s qualification plans for Champions League. But after having missed out on qualification for Europe’s top competition, they are highly unlikely to resist Modric any further.  However, Levy won’t budge unless the club’s evaluation of £30m is met. Chelsea have lost their interest in the Croatian after having spent close to £80m already.

Fergie has already signed Japan midfielder Shinji Kagawa and the arrival of Modric could be bad news for the other teams. It remains to be seen how far would United go to land this creative Croatian midfielder at the Theater of Dreams.



Chelsea continue their summer spending, Fellaini in sight

Recently crowned European champions Chelsea continue their summer spending as they turn their focus now to Everton midfielder Marouane Fellaini.

After witnessing his side win the holy grail of club football Roman Abramovich  is desperate to bolster his squad to replicate this season’s success. They have already wrapped up deals for Eden Hazard from Lille and Marko Marin from Werder Bremen for a total sum of £40m and are reported to be close to signing Porto winger Hulk for a whopping £40m.

Didier Drogba’s departure has been adequately compensated by the signings and now the Chelsea owner has turned to Fellaini to strengthen the midfield. Frank Lampard is no longer the player he was a couple of seasons back and there are question marks hovering over Michael Essien’s fitness. Fellaini has been impressive ever since he moved to Everton in 2008 and could be a quality signing for the Londoners.

The 24 year old is a versatile midfielder as he can play in a defensive role as well as behind the main striker. He recently shined in Belgium’s 1-0 defeat to England in a friendly match and came close to scoring on a number of times.

However, the Toffees will not be forced into selling their star unless the money offered is an improvement on the transfer fee they paid Standard Liege four years back. Abramovich could test their reserve by offering £20m for the midfielder who could really be an asset to the Chelsea side.