During an interview with the French satellite channel Canal+, the Rennes chairman, Frédéric de Saint-Sernin, claimed he had received a “concrete offer from England” for M’Vila, though he refused to name the club who had lodged it.
The French sports daily, L’Equipe, reported it had received information the bid had come from Spurs.
Rennes’ general manager, Pierre Dréossi, had specifically denied to the same
publication on Sunday that Spurs had made a formal move for a player who
joined his club as a 15 year-old. But Dréossi did say contacts were
The 22-year-old France international has attracted interest from Zenit St Petersburg, though the player has not encouraged their advances.
“For as long as I am at Rennes, I will be available to the manager,” said M’Vila after Rennes’ opening-day, 2-0 defeat to Lyon on Saturday. “I’m not going to get too hung up about it. I could even very well stay another season.”
Laurent Blanc had intended to build his France team at the European Championship around M’Vila, but that plan was ruined when the midfielder was injured by a heavy challenge during France’s final warm-up match against Serbia.
Rennes had hoped to generate up to £24million for M’Vila but have reduced that aspiration to closer to £16million as interest in him has dropped away.
Arsène Wenger had considered making a bid for a midfielder who turned out 54 times for club and country last season but was deterred by his reputation for off-field difficulties.
Indeed, although Arsenal’s own first-choice defensive midfielder, Alex Song, appears to have become a principal summer target for Barcelona, M’Vila is not now considered a suitable replacement.
Much of that can be attributed to M’Vila’s arrest in May, when he spent 24 hours under police detention following complaints from the family of a 17 year-old, believed to be the player’s sister’s boyfriend, whom M’Vila allegedly slapped repeatedly about the face.
His lawyer claimed the victim had “betrayed the confidence of [M’Vila] and his family,” adding that he had spent their money and given a promise to return it but that he had not done so.
In August 2010 M’Vila and a friend were robbed of their watches, computers and telephones by two women after France’s friendly against Chile. A month later he was investigated for an alleged attack on a driver.