M'Vila won't let Arsenal transfer talk distract him from France's Euro 2012 quest
The Rennes midfield enforcer has been heavily linked with a move to north London but admits that his priority now lies with helping his national side prosper in Poland and Ukraine
EXCLUSIVE By Robin Bairner and Francesco Delgado
France midfielder and Arsenal transfer target Yann M'Vila has shelved thoughts of a possible move to the Premier League until after the upcoming European Championship.
The Rennes enforcer has been heavily linked with a move to Arsene Wenger's side, while his France colleague Laurent Koscielny has encouraged the 21-year-old to join him in north London next season.
But M'Vila, who will have a pivotal role to play for Laurent Blanc's men in Poland and Ukraine, will not allow the speculation surrounding his future distract him ahead of this summer's main event.
He told Goal.com: “My present at the moment is France. After the Euros we will see what happens with my future. There are many options open and I still don't know what will happen.
"We will have to talk about everything in a relaxed way but I don't think my signing for another club will depend on what happens in the Euros.
“Do I like the Premier League? Who doesn't?”
Typically playing in a defensive midfield role, the press have been quick to relate the Arsenal target’s style to that of Patrick Vieira or Claude Makelele, and though the 21-year-old is clearly pleased to be mentioned alongside such icons, he assured he won’t let the comments define him.
“People have compared me to Makelele and Vieira, and I take that as a big compliment,” M'Vila added.
“There are big names in the French national team, but I am M'Vila, I have my own style and I hope people will recognise that more from now on.”
Despite his tender years, the Amiens-born player has quickly grown into an important member of Laurent Blanc’s France side, yet he was quick to play down his influence for Les Bleus.
“I don't consider myself the brain of the French team because I have just arrived and that would mean incredible pressure in a tournament like the Euros,” he said.
“But I am not scared by challenges and my mission will be to help the team, obeying what my coach asks of me. I know my limitations and that my team-mates will have to help me.
“The press have said my call-up was fair, but that's not enough for me. Now I have to show it on the pitch in the time my coach gives to me.
“Blanc has explained to me in detail what my mission will be in the team. And the truth is that it attracts me a lot. I am experiencing a key moment in my sporting career and I know I am playing for my future.”
M’Vila’s Rennes side finished the season in disappointing fashion, with the midfielder himself under a cloud because of personal problems, but he insists this will not detract from his efforts at the European Championship.
“Rennes is one thing and the French national team another,” he assured. “We cannot compare the objectives nor the teams. The end of the season wasn't easy with my team, but now I have changed my focus and I have to face an even tougher challenge.”
M’Vila hopes his first assignment with France at Euro 2012 will be a meeting with England on June 11, but an ankle injury may yet rule him out of that encounter.