Sought-after Rennes midfielder Yann M'Vila appears set for a move to Rubin Kazan, but Queens Park Rangers have not given up hope of luring him to London.
M'Vila, 22, looks likely to have played his last game for Rennes after coming off the bench – and conceding a penalty – in the Breton club's 2-0 win over Bastia on Sunday. Rubin have, according to L'Equipe, made an offer of €11.5 million for the player, exceeding by some €1.5 million the fee Rennes had hoped to receive.
A four-year contract worth an initial €4 million after tax with hefty pay increases written in has convinced M'Vila his future lies in Russia, the paper reports.
After previously admitting M'Vila would leave the club in January if all parties were satisfied, Rennes general manager Pierre Dreossi confirmed on Sunday a deal was close to being done. "We haven't reached an agreement yet, but it could happen in the week," he explained on BeIN Sport without specifying the club involved.
The Russian champions of 2008 and 2009 are currently subject to a transfer embargo imposed upon them by the Russian Football Union, although they are set to appeal that decision later this week.
Though Rubin have entered the race, QPR boss Harry Redknapp is still in the hunt. Having lured Loic Remy to Loftus Road when the ex-Marseille forward seemed destined to join Newcastle United, Redknapp is hopeful the Premier League's bottom club can pull off another surprise in the transfer market.
L'Equipe, however, reported on Monday that "discussions with the London club have become complicated due to the number of intermediaries involved". The sports daily added that Tottenham Hotspur and Fulham are monitoring the situation.
After watching his team see off Bastia, Rennes coach Frederic Antonetti once again declared his disappointment that M'Vila, who came through Rennes' vaunted youth academy, would soon no longer be at his disposal.
"It's always annoying when your best players go, and as he was starting to get back to his best it's very, very annoying," he told the media in his post-match press conference. "It's a shame. But he's not gone yet. You are talking as if he's left already, but I don't know anything about it."
L'Equipe added that Rennes hope to replace M'Vila with Norwegian midfielder Anders Konradsen, 22, who currently plays for Stromsgodset in his native country.