Arsenal home in on Renne star M’Vila

Arsenal are closing in on a deal for Renne star Yann M’Vila with the midfielder expected to complete a record £17.7 million switch to the Emirates Stadium this week the Telegraph understands.

Arsene Wenger has been chasing the France international for some time and now appears close to sealing a second transfer in the space of a week after confirming the £11 million capture of Lukas Podolski eight days ago.

Inter Milan were also credited with an interest in M’Vila but he’s now expected to sign for the Gunners although the deal is unlikely to be finalised before their final game of the season against West Brom on Sunday.

Wenger has tracked the 21-year-old since having an offer rebuffed last summer by Rennes but the Ligue 1 side are now resigned to selling their prized asset after they narrowly missed out on Champions League qualification.

The Frenchman is desperate to bolster his defensive midfield options with Alex Song the only experience player capable of operating effectively in that position as Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere, Mikel Arteta and Tomas Rosicky all attack minded

Song has been North London clubs unsung hero this season and is expected to pen a new long-term contract but Wenters wants M’Vila to provide competition in the engine room.

The 62-year-old knows Arsenal will secure a place on Europe’s top table for a 16th consecutive season with a win at the Hawthorns and is keen to conclude his transfer business swiftly.

He wants to avoid a similar scenario to last year that saw him lose several key players after the Premier League season has began leaving him with little time to find adequate replacements.

M’Vila is expected to play a key role for France at Euro 2012 and has been likened to Arsenal legend Patrick Vieira due to his uncompromising style in the middle of the park.