Liverpool Transfer News: Yann M'Vila Necessary Cover for Lucas Leiva

Tom SunderlandFeatured ColumnistJanuary 13, 2014

DONETSK, UKRAINE - JUNE 15: Yann M'Vila of France acknowledges the fans after the UEFA EURO 2012 group D match between Ukraine and France at Donbass Arena on June 15, 2012 in Donetsk, Ukraine.  (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)
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A year after completing his transfer to the Russian Premier League, Rubin Kazan star Yann M'Vila could be on the move once again this winter, with Liverpool tipped to be among the midfielder's top destinations.

The Frenchman has maintained his high standing in the European pecking order since leaving Rennes last January, and Brendan Rodgers is right to prioritise a move for his signature.

MOSCOW, RUSSIA - DECEMBER 07: Dmitri Tarasov (R) of FC Lokomotiv Moscow is challenged by Yann M'Vila of FC Rubin Kazan during the Russian Premier League match between FC Lokomotiv Moscow and FC Rubin Kazan at Lokomotiv Stadium on December 07, 2013 in Mosc
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According to the Metro's Jamie Sanderson, M'Vila is fond of the Premier League and would be open to a switch, with his agent, Werner Baader, saying:

I think many players dream of playing in the Premier League – Yann is no different.

I will not deny there is interest from many European clubs, including English teams. We will see what happens.

Liverpool's engine room is one area in need of fresh blood this year.

Steven Gerrard, Lucas Leiva, Jordan Henderson and Joe Allen have all performed superbly for the Reds. However, the former is now 33 years of age, and a hunt for major titles is realistic once again, so a deeper bank of resources is necessary to the Anfield cause.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 30:  Jordan Henderson of Liverpool celebrates scoring their second goal with lSteven Gerrard and Lucas Leiva of Liverpool during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Liverpool at Emirates Stadium on January 30, 2
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M'Vila was being linked with a move to Merseyside prior to his Russian trip, but it appears Rodgers hasn't given up on his hopes of luring the midfield anchor.

This season, the 23-year-old has won 66 percent of all his duels, according to Squawka. No other midfielder in the Rubin Kazan ranks has been more successful in that regard.

This includes success in 20 of his 28 attempted tackles, but he is also a fine playmaker, boasting a pass-completion rate of 86 percent. 

Sky Italia (h/t The Mirror's Alan Wilson) has more recently reported that Napoli are front-runners to win the race for his services, as Rafa Benitez seeks to pip his former side in the chase.

Wilson mentions that Rodgers has offered a winter down payment to secure M'Vila on loan for the remainder of the season with a view to making the switch permanent in the summer.

Goal.com's Fabrizio Romano backs up reports that it's the English top flight M'Vila has his eyes on:

Lucas would be the man pitted in direct competition with M'Vila. He has been in fine form this term, but competition in key positions is vital for any club hoping to make a surge for the title.

The Brazilian has struggled on occasion with recurring knee injuries during his time as a Liverpool star, and it's uncertain as to whether Allen provides sufficient backup in the holding role.

STOKE ON TRENT, ENGLAND - JANUARY 12:   Brendan Rodgers manager of Liverpool laughs prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Stoke City and Liverpool at Britannia Stadium on January 12, 2014 in Stoke on Trent, England.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Get
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Thanks to the efforts of Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge, Liverpool are second only to Manchester City in the Premier League's scoring ranks this term. A gargantuan 51 goals have been scored by the top-four candidates in 2013-14, leading Rodgers to cast his priorities further downfield.

M'Vila's skill set makes him an ideal candidate to challenge for first-team football at Liverpool, but Napoli's interest in adding the player to their ranks poses stiff competition.