Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Iborra Rivals M'Vila in Black Cats Hunt; Spaniard Seen as Alternative Iborra vs M'Vila in Black Cats Hunt

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Iborra Rivals M'Vila in Black Cats Hunt; Spaniard Seen as Alternative Iborra vs M'Vila in Black Cats Hunt

Article excerpt

Byline: Stuart Rayner stuart.rayner@ncjmedia.co.uk

SUNDERLAND are looking at Sevilla midfielder Vicente Iborra as an alternative to Yann M'Vila - but face competition from the Frenchman's current club Rubin Kazan.

M'Vila enjoyed a successful season-long loan at the Stadium of Light in 2015-16, and Sam Allardyce admitted in May re-signing the combative midfielder would be one of his top summer priorities.

Kazan are willing to sell and M'Vila would like to return to Wearside, but it may not be that straightforward.

The Tatarstan club are unwilling to cancel M'Vila's contract early, and his wages are thought to be around PS100,000 a week - only half of which Sunderland paid last term. So while trying to close out the deal, the Black Cats are wisely looking elsewhere for alternatives.

Iborra has emerged as one. The 28-year-old midfielder is actually versatile enough to play alongside M'Vila, but the amounts involved could mean it is one or the other for the Wearsiders, who are also looking to spend big in other positions, particularly centre-forward.

They face competition for Iborra from Valencia and Rubin Kazan, who are both thought to have bid PS6.7m. Iborra would be a replacement for M'Vila at Kazan.

Although the former Levante player has two years left on his contract, Europa League champions Sevilla are resigned to losing him. They only just managed to fend off West Bromwich Albion's interest last year.

Iborra made his name as a defensive midfielder, but in the last two seasons coach Unai Emery has given him a more attacking brief, sometimes deploying him as the No.10 in a 4-2-3-1 formation. As a result, he has scored nine goals in each of the last two seasons.

Irrespective of whether M'Vila joins, Sunderland will need to score more goals from midfield next season. M'Vila, Jan Kirchhoff and Lee Cattermole scored one goal between them - M'Vila's stunning strike against Aston Villa. …

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