France international defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa has revealed that he is fully focused on Montpellier this season, despite turning down the chance to join Italian giants AC Milan during the summer transfer window, Sky Sports reports.
After championing the French Ligue 1 last term, Montpellier are currently in 16th place in the league table with a dismal 2-2-5 record.
Yanga-Mbiwa is drawing interest from a bevy of Europe’s top football clubs, including the likes of AC Milan and Lille OSC, while FC Barcelona are also rumoured to be admirers of the Frenchman.
The 23-year-old’s current contract expires at the end of the season, fueling speculation that Montpellier are preparing to offload him during the January transfer window.
“I am not mad that I did not leave. I remained focused, had some difficult periods and even some doubts, but that is logical. We will see what will happen in the coming months.
“I had just a few meetings with the Montpellier to see how we would manage it [about extending my contract].
“I don’t want to neglect the club where I was educated. We will try to work things out properly.”
Yanga-Mbiwa has started 13 games for club and country this season, including Les Bleus‘ 2014 World Cup qualifiers against Belarus and Finland in September.
Milan keen on Drenthe
Serie A giants AC Milan are reportedly interested in the services of former Real Madrid midfielder Royston Drenthe, who remains without a club after his contract with Los Blancos ran out in June, according to the player’s agent Antonio Salerno, Sky Sports understands.
Drenthe has spent the last two seasons on loan at Hercules (2010-11) and Everton (2011-12) after falling out-of-favour at star-studded Real Madrid.
“The interest of Milan is real,” Antonio Salerno told CalcioNews24. “But the Rossoneri are not the only team interested in him.
“Signing a free agent would be an excellent business for any team.”
As Salerno suggests, signing Drenthe, 25, as a free agent would be a superb signing for any club. The Dutchman’s resale value is extremely high, making him a very good prospective signing for any club in Europe.
Liverpool are one club who could definitely use Drenthe. In all honesty, the combined £30-40 million spent on 2011 signings Jordan Henderson and Stewart Downing has not really yielded a positive result.
Although Downing did bag the winner in Thursday’s UEFA Europa League clash against Anzhi Makhachkala at Anfield, he has failed to tally a goal or an assist in 39 English Premier League appearances over the past two seasons for the Reds.
Drenthe would give Liverpool another left-footed wide option, an option that most of the club’s supporters would prefer to Downing, surely.
However, the fact that Drenthe spent last season on loan at Everton, the Reds’ bitter inner-city rivals, probably suggests that the former Real Madrid midfielder will not be returning to the city of Liverpool anytime soon.