North London duo boosted in hunt for enforcer.
Rennes midfielder Yann M’Vila has handed Arsenal and Tottenham a boost by rejected a move to Russian outfit Zenit St Petersburg, reports the Metro.
The 21-year-old has been linked with a move away from Ligue 1 club Rennes this summer, with both Spurs and Arsenal believed to be tracking the highly-rated enforcer.
The Gunners were thought to be close to finalising a deal for M’Vila in June but boss Arsene Wenger pulled the plug over concerns about the youngster’s off-field antics.
But the sale of Alex Song to Barcelona has reignited Arsenal’s interest, although they now face competition from neighbours Spurs who want M’Vila to replace the outbound Luka Modric.
The rivals have been boosted by the news that M’Vila is not interested in joining Zenit. The Russians agreed a fee with Rennes and prepared a lucrative wage package for the French international but the midfielder was reportedly sent racially-motivated hate letters by ultras, warning him not to join the club.
Zenit’s first team squad does not include any black players and, according to former boss Dick Advocaat, the club has a policy of not signing certain players based on their skin colour.
M’Vila is understood to not be interested in playing in such a poisonous environment and favours a move to the Premier League.
Spurs allowed Tom Huddlestone to join Stoke on loan on Tuesday, paving the way for a fresh bid for M’Vila. Arsenal, meanwhile, have identified Nuri Sahin as their first choice to replace Song but will return to M’Vila if the Turk opts to join Liverpool instead.
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