M’Vila To Sign New Deal With Rubin Kazan? He's Eligible to Play After All
So, about six minutes after we published this piece about Yann M’Vila returning to training with Rubin Kazan, a Russian website published an article suggesting that Sunderland’s ongoing transfer target may be persuaded to sign a new deal.
What this seems to boil down to is some suggestion that Kazan, having failed to negotiate any fee with Sunderland this summer, would like to tie Yann M’Vila down to a new contract to avoid him leaving on a free come January.
This all comes against a backdrop of suggestions in the Russian media that the signing of the Frenchman, who was at loan at Sunderland last season, could conceivably be nominated in a top-ten list of the worst signings ever made by a Russian club.
After all, M’Vila - who signed for 13m euros in the summer of 2013 - has only made twenty four senior appearances for the Kazan team and his time there has seen a string of off-field issues including a couple of spells AWOL, a bizarre axe incident and two spells away on loan.
One perhaps can’t blame the Russian side for being keen to recoup some of their investment. As for the pre-contract supposedly signed with Sunderland – if this thing actually exists, it seems likely to be little more than a verbal agreement with M'Vila and his agent.
Regardless, this morning we wrote that it seemed doubtful that M’Vila would even be eligible to play in Russia having been registered ‘late’ with the authorities there. It now looks likely that this has been resolved and Yann M’Vila is now listed with UEFA as a Rubin Kazan player. A spokesman from the Russian Football Federation has also confirmed his eligibility to play in their Premier League.
So, the saga that has run all summer continues at a pace. Expect to see some further suggestion, in the next day or two, that Yann has discussed the Kazan-project with their new manager, Javier Gracia and has been impressed with the Spaniard's ambition for the club.
Also expect to see some hints that former West Ham and Barcelona midfielder, Alex Song, has spoken of his admiration for a player of M’Vila’s calibre and perhaps some hint of him questioning the Russian club as to why a player of Yann's ilk has not been training with the first team.
It feels like it's time to switch off from this whole affair doesn't it?
The Return of Football & Koeman’s Press Conference
Thankfully, 'proper' football is back this weekend following the international break and the post-transfer window nonsense. You might have been forgiven for thinking Sky would return from the international break with a bang, but the only televised fixtures they have selected for the weekend are the Manchester derby on Saturday lunchtime and Swansea v Chelsea on Sunday. Liverpool v Leicester is on BT Sport on Saturday tea-time for anyone wishing to avoid Strictly Come Dancing.
So, Monday Night Football showcases Moyes versus his former club, a feature which will give Neville, Carragher et al something to witter on about at least. Once they’ve exhausted that one, they can discuss Lamine Kone for a couple of minutes – you can see why Sky selected it can’t you. It’s actually two and a half years since we hosted Everton on a Saturday afternoon, such is the televisual appeal of the fixture.
New Everton manager, Ronald Koeman, held his weekly press conference this afternoon. He had a little to say about Monday’s fixture, but spent a considerable time deflecting a raft of questions about Everton’s perceived failings in the transfer market this summer.
On Sunderland and Moyes though, he had this to say:
"At the moment I think it’s more difficult than what he [Moyes] did at Everton. He showed he was a great manager for Everton.
"Sunderland is a different club, but it’s also a club who have signed new players. The team will be different but we need to be prepared."
Specifically, Jermain Defoe was singled out by Koeman as the main threat from this Sunderland side:
"He is so dangerous. His movement behind the defenders, his pace and a chance normally is a goal. He is still showing his productivity as a striker."
On his team selection, Koeman confirmed that James McCarthy is out for three weeks and will not feature. However, his international colleague, Seamus Coleman, is fit and will be in the reckoning for a start.
Anichebe Won’t Feature Against Former Club
David Moyes got in pretty early in confirming that new signing, Victor Anichebe, will not feature in the squad for this game.
Tellingly revealing just how in condition today's Premier League footballers are required to be, Moyes said:
"He’s going to need a while, because he is not ready to play yet and we are going to give him plenty of time."
A summer of presumably training alone, following a season in which he was at times criticised for appearing lethargic, likely means there is some intense conditioning required for the 28-year old Nigerian hitman before he can make the first team squad.
Though in fairness, Victor Anichebe appeared in that Tony Pulis West Brom side of last season. That was the one with the fewest number of successful passes and the lowest average possession % of any side. It was also the one with the fewest goals from open play barring the abysmal Aston Villa. That would surely be sufficient to render even the most enthusiastic of strikers devoid of energy.