Arsenal and Liverpool face strong competition from Barcelona in the race to sign Yann M'Vila.

Cadena Cope is reporting that the Catalan giants are now 'closely monitoring' the 21-year-old Frenchman, who has been dubbed 'the new Patrick Vieira' in his homeland after some impressive performances for both club and country.

The Rennes starlet already has 17 international caps to his name for Les Bleus, and was heavily linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium in the summer as Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger courted the player.

Speculation even went on to suggest that an offer was made to the Ligue 1 outfit, with The Guardian reporting that a £22 million bid was tabled in August as Arsenal looked to replace Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri in their midfield.

Whilst Mikel Arteta and Yossi Benayoun were added, a more defensive minded player was not secured by the Frenchman, a role which M'Vila could fill for the Gunners if they are willing to spend big on the player.

His contract at Route de Lorient, which ties him to the club until 2015, means Arsenal would need to break their club transfer record to bring the player to north London.

Liverpool have been linked with a move for M'Vila on a number of occasions, with the most recent speculation coming in the early stages of the summer transfer window.

Kenny Dalglish spent big in the summer bringing other targets to Anfield, with Charlie Adam and Jordan Henderson drafted in to bolster the Liverpool midfield under the Scot.

However, injuries to Steven Gerrard and Lucas Leiva could leave the Liverpool boss looking to the transfer market once more in the position, and whilst 'King Kenny' has been coy over possible transfer targets on Merseyside, he admitted that money was available should he wish to strengthen the squad in 2012.

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