Sam Allardyce: Sunderland summer move for French international depends on survival

Yann M'Vila. Picture by FRANK REID
Yann M'Vila. Picture by FRANK REID
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Sam Allardyce is heartened by Yann M’Vila’s desire to stay at Sunderland, but warns that any summer recruitment plans are irrelevant if the Black Cats fail in their survival mission.

On-loan Rubin Kazan midfielder M’Vila this week confirmed his eagerness to seal a permanent move to the Stadium of Light at the end of the season and revealed that he is already in talks with his parent club over being released as a free agent.

He’s been one of the big pluses in recruitment terms for the club this season.

Sam Allardyce

But Sunderland’s chances of keeping the French international depend upon them remaining in the Premier League, particularly with several other top-flight clubs keeping tabs on the 25-year-old.

That is Allardyce’s preoccupation, even if the Sunderland boss was pleased to hear that the Black Cats’ stand-out performer this season has found himself at home on Wearside.

Allardyce told the Echo: “In terms of getting him here on a loan basis and what he’s produced, he’s been one of the big pluses in recruitment terms for the club this season.

“If he likes the area, likes the football club, then there’s nothing better than when someone expresses that.

“But what we must do is all stay together and stay in the Premier League.”

M’Vila was something of a gamble by Sunderland last summer after his career had gone completely off-track in Russia and he was dogged by a poor off-the-field reputation.

But M’Vila instantly thrived in the Premier League and rediscovered the form which saw both Arsenal and Liverpool submit big-money bids for him when he was coming through the ranks at French club Rennes.

Allardyce added: “I spoke with Arsene Wenger and he said he’d bid a huge amount of money for him five or six years ago when he was at Rennes.

“In between that, something must have happened to him.

“But he’s resurrected himself here.

“Obviously we’ve helped, but you can only resurrect somebody if they want to do it themselves.

“He obviously wanted to do it and we’ve given him a hand.

“If he can produce more big performances for us and start assisting the front lads more with goals, it would give us a great boost in getting out of this situation.”