By Jamie Sanderson
Arsenal and Tottenham have been boosted in the hunt for Rennes ace Yann M’Vila after he turned down a move to Zenit Saint Petersburg following death threats from their fans.
The 21-year-old defensive midfielder is widely expected to quit French football before next weeks transfer deadline, with Rennes confirming offers from Tottenham, Zenit and a third unnamed club earlier this week.
However, despite preparing a lucrative five-year contract offer for M’Vila, the player has refused to enter into negotiations with the Russian champions after receiving death threats from their fans.
According to reports in Saint Petersburg, Zenit ultras have sent racially motivated letters to M’Vila warning that his life would be in danger if he moved to the club.
Zenit, who’s first-team squad does not include any black players, have a policy of not signing certain players based on their skin colour, according to former manager Dick Advocaat.
It is understood that fans have taken exception to M’Vila, and are doing everything they can to try and force the transfer from happening.
But the news that M’Vila is no longer Russia-bound will benefit Tottenham, who are hopeful of trying to agree a transfer after allowing Tom Huddlestone to join Stoke City on-loan.
M’Vila, who is also a long-term target for Arsenal, is desperate to move to the Premier League this summer, but concrete offers have been few and few between.