The 21-year-old has been one of Arsene Wenger's long-term transfer targets and is set to sign a four-year contract with the Premier League outfit.

Former France and Chelsea defender Marcel Desailly told that M'Vila is better than Patrick Vieira, who spent nine years with the Gunners, and insisted that if he was the chairman of a Premier League club he would do whatever it takes to sign him.

Wenger has already made in-roads to strengthen his squad ahead of the transfer window by securing the services of Cologne striker Lukas Podolski, while the likely acquisition of M'Vila represents a stark contrast to Arsenal's business last summer.

M'Vila is likely to feature prominently for France at Euro 2012 this summer and his acquisition would be viewed as a significant step forward for a club also trying to persuade Robin van Persie to extend his contract.

The fee required to secure M'Vila is likely to set a club record by surpassing the approximately 15 million pounds needed to lure Andrey Arshavin away from Zenit St Petersburg in 2009.

Rennes sit in fifth place in the Ligue 1 table, with M'Vila having made 36 league appearances for the club during the 2011-12 campaign.