He has been one of the names that has cropped up every once and a while throughout the transfer window this summer and that has not stopped since the window has closed.
Mapou Yanga M’Biwa deserves such admiration with his recent track record. He has been flying with French side Montpellier who won the Ligue 1 title last year against all the odds, and Paris Saint-Germain’s chequebook. The defender has cemented his position in the French squad and his ability to play anywhere across the back four makes him a much coveted footballing talent.
Originally from the Central African Republic the 23-year-old is a perfect option for Arsenal. They want to add extra cover for Thomas Vermaelen, Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny and his ability to play along the back-line also provides cover in the full-back positions. This summer his club did not receive the offer they felt worthy of M’Biwa’s talents and therefore rejected all comers, and as extra credence to the personality of the player he refused to try force a move out of respect for the clubs chairman.
However it appears very likely they will not be triumphant in any pursuit. When asked why he rejected Arsenal in the summer M’Biwa was clear on where he wanted to play:
‘The chairman said I could go and I was ready to pack my suitcases. AC Milan came in for me but the chairman turned down the offer. From then on, I knew that it would be difficult’ he continued… ‘Arsenal made an offer, but I had already moved on, I was disappointed when I realised that things would not happen with Milan.’
Reportedly the £4.8million price-tag Milan had placed on the French international was not enough for the French champions to accept. Now AC Milan are desperate, owing mainly to their abysmal start to Serie A this season. After losing Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva to PSG they are in dire need of reinforcements in January and a recent investment from Qatar may give them some spare change to throw their weight around in the winter.
A point made clear by AC Milan director Ariado Braida when speaking to French paper Le Parisien this week:
“Yes, there will certainly be an important defender coming to AC Milan,”
While that may refer to Marseille’s Nicolas N’Koulou it is far more likely the Rossoneri will pursue their number one target.
Montpellier claim he will go nowhere in January but everyone has their price, a price AC Milan may meet before Arsenal.
Should Arsenal chase M’Biwa with AC Milan, or let the Italian side chase him alone?
image: © yvelines