Yann M’Vila’s future could become clearer next week, with the Rubin Kazan squad due to assemble for the start of pre-season training.
Both Sunderland and M’Vila himself have made it clear that they want the Frenchman to return to the Stadium of Light this coming season after his highly successful loan spell with the Black Cats, starting 36 of 38 Premier League games last term.
But M’Vila has another six months remaining on his contract with Kazan and, despite negotiations with the midfielder’s agent, the Russian club are not expected to terminate that deal early to allow him to join Sunderland on a free transfer.
Sunderland face having to pay a fee, even if that is not likely to be huge due to the brevity of his remaining contract and Kazan’s acceptance that his career at the club is over.
However, new Kazan boss Javi Gracia wants all of the club’s players – including those who have been out on loan – to report back for pre-season duty next Monday.
Even if Sunderland do agree a fee with Kazan, the bigger issue over re-signing M’Vila could be whether the Black Cats can finalise personal terms with the 25-year-old, who has also attracted interest from several other Premier League sides.
M’Vila’s contract at Kazan is worth more than £100,000 a week, with Sunderland understood to have contributed less than a third of that huge sum during his season-long stint on Wearside.
Despite his eagerness to return, M’Vila would still have to take a huge pay cut, with Sunderland’s top earners currently around the £60,000-a-week mark, albeit the club’s coffers will be boosted by the new TV deal.
Manager Sam Allardyce has been under no illusions about the challenge of re-signing M’Vila though, with Sunderland determined to overcome the hurdles.
He said last month: “It will be difficult, but we’ll try. That is one of the priorities.”