Marvin Martin and Yann M'Vila slip away from Arsenal's grasp
M'Vila questioned by police and Martin linked to Lille, as Barca court David Luiz
UNCERTAINTY surrounds the future of Sochaux midfielder Marvin Martin after French sports daily L'Equipe reported that the object of Arsenal's affections is likely to snub the Gunners in favour of a move to Lille.
Arsenal head honcho Arsene Wenger has had his beady eye on 23-year-old Martin for many a month, as have Spanish outfit Valencia, but L'Equipe claims the France international wants to replace Eden Hazard at Lille. Hazard is leaving the club at the end of the season - though his destination remains unknown - and apparently Martin wants to step into his shoes. Negotiations between Lille and Sochaux - who are in danger of being relegated from the French First Division - are said to be at "an advanced stage", leaving Wenger to wonder what might have been.
From what might have been to has-been? The chances of Rennes midfielder Yann M'Vila (pictured) joining Arsenal have taken a turn for the worse after the fiery Frenchman let fly at a 17-year-old youth during what the Metro describes as a "an altercation outside his home" in Vern-sur-Seiche.
The incident happened last Friday and as a result M'Vila didn't appear for Rennes against Ajaccio on Sunday. That went down with Arsenal about as well as the sight of Mary Beard on Samantha Brick's telly after the club had sent scouts to see him in action. So had Inter Milan, but both clubs were informed at the eleventh hour that M'Vila wouldn't be playing for "personal reasons". Those reasons became known on Monday when the 21-year-old midfielder was picked up police. Subsequently M'Vila's lawyer, Thierry Fillion, has told reporters that "as it stands no decision has been taken yet by the Rennes prosecutor on this case but the file will be forwarded to him within eight to ten days."
It's not the first time M'Vila has been in trouble after he allegedly struck a restaurateur in 2010. Arsenal had been lining up a £15m bid for M'Vila but that might now be shelved if the club concludes that his fuse, not unlike a Theo Walcott cross, is too short.
Elsewhere, it seems that having lost their manager Pep Guardiola, Barcelona have also lost their marbles and the Daily Mirror reports they are in the throes of making a "shock" move for Chelsea defender David Luiz. The Brazilian centre-half, absent from the Blues' 2-0 defeat to Newcastle last night, moved to the Bridge in early 2011 in a £24million transfer from Benfica. The Mirror says that Luiz was a favourite of Pep Guardiola, and even though he's stepping down from the Barcelona hot seat at the end of the season his successor, Tito Vilanova, "is also keen". Chelsea are likely to demand in the region of £30m for Luiz, a sum Barcelona will pay as they seek to restore their reputation following a season in which both the Champions League and La Liga titles eluded them. Quite how they will reclaim those titles with a defence marshalled by the hapless Luiz remains to be seen.
Meanwhile Udinese defender Pablo Armero appears to be flavour in the month. The 25-year-old is now linked to Arsenal, Liverpool, AC Milan and Juventus. According to Italian broadcaster Mediaset, the Colombian international has attracted attention following his standout performances in this season's Serie A. Having arrived from South America in 2010, Armero has quickly settled into the Udinese side and it's reported that they would accept offers in excess of £8m.
Finally, worrying news from Russia as far as Arsenal fans are concerned with Andrey Arshavin not ruling out a return to the Emirates. The unreliable Russian was farmed out to Zenit St Petersburg in January, much to the relief of Gooners, but the loan deal expires in June and Arshavin has admitted to Russian paper Sport-Express that he has no idea what the future holds. "I haven't yet thought about [it]," he said, adding: "Everything will be decided after the European Championship. Of course, the results and quality of play there could affect my destiny."