Speculation mounts Arsenal are on verge of signing £17.7m Yann M'Vila


Yossi Benayoun was plotting the perfect goodbye to Arsenal today as speculation mounted they were about to say hello to France midfielder Yann M'Vila.

Benayoun has revealed he wants to end his loan move from Chelsea by helping the Gunners finish third in the Barclays Premier League, with automatic Champions League qualification set to provide a boost for their summer recruitment drive.

Reports today suggested they were on the brink of completing what would be a club record £17.7million signing of Rennes star M'Vila, who has long been linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal appear to be succeeding in conducting their summer transfer business early this year, having been accused of panic signings at the end of the August window after selling Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri.

Benayoun was one of the new arrivals but has proven a useful addition to the squad in recent months as the Gunners have fought back from a horrendous start to the season to move to the brink of qualifying for the Champions League once more.

The final game of Benayoun's loan spell comes at West Brom on Sunday, where Arsenal need to win to be certain of finishing third.

That could also help deny Benayoun's parent club, Chelsea, a top-four spot but the 32-year-old Israel captain could not care less.

"Since I came to Arsenal, I have always been committed to one club until the last game of the season," he told the Gunners' official website, www.arsenal.com.

"The only thing I want is for Arsenal to finish in third place - I don't care about anybody else.

"When I finish I will have to decide about my future.

"I am supposed to go back to Chelsea first and then we will see what the future holds."

Benayoun was pleased with how his loan spell had worked out, adding: "I finish here in a good way.

"In the last few months, I have been more involved.

"Of course, you want to play and you want to enjoy it and I think I have played a big part in the last few games.

"You always remember the end and I am happy with my performances in the last few months."

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger must now decide whether to try to make Benayoun's move permanent but his attention is said to be currently focused on fending off reported interest from Inter Milan in number one target M'Vila.

Should he succeed, the 21-year-old would be the Gunners' second summer signing following the arrival of Lukas Podolski.

It would also be another statement of the club's ambitions ahead of contract negotiations with captain Robin van Persie, who will sit down with them this summer to discuss extending his deal which expires a year later.

Winger Theo Walcott also has just a year left on his contract and he and Van Persie may wait to see precisely who Arsenal bring in during the close season before deciding whether to commit their long-term futures.

M'Vila's arrival would provide much-needed strength in central midfield, where Arsenal have suffered crippling injuries this season.

He is also more defensive-minded than many of his prospective team-mates and would help protect a back four that has been left horribly exposed at times.

Reports suggest he would cost 22million euros (£17.7million) to prise from Rennes, who have lost their last two Ligue 1 games to end any hope they had of qualifying for next season's Champions League.

Arsenal's current transfer record is the £15million they splashed out on misfit forward Andrei Arshavin just over three years ago.


Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
musicBand's first new record for 20 years has some tough acts to follow
peopleAt least it's for a worthwhile cause
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Life and Style
healthFor Pure-O OCD sufferers this is a reality they live in
Life and Style
Sexual health charities have campaigned for the kits to be regulated
healthAmerican woman who did tells parents there is 'nothing to be afraid of'
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments