Guingamp's Gianelli Imbula has been catching the eye of Europe's biggest sides with his impressive displays in Ligue 2, and Chelsea might try and finalise a £6 million deal for the 20 year old this month.
Despite only being 20 years old Gianelli Imbula has been on the radar of top clubs around Europe since 2009, when he made his debut for Guingamp to become the youngest player in Ligue 2 history.
Having continued his development at the French club since then, plenty of teams are now considering making a bid for the player, who is reported to have a £6 million release clause in his contract.
Whilst this amount would hardly break the bank for Chelsea, they might be able to negotiate a lower price for the player if they agree to send Imbula back on loan to Guingamp once they have completed the transfer.
This would make sense for all parties, as Imbula is unlikely to break into the first team any time soon at Stamford Bridge, and it would allow him to finalise any move in the summer, when it is easier to settle into a new squad.
Chelsea's scouts have delivered glowing reports about the player back the management team at Stamford Bridge, and there is an indication time might of the essence, with French sides Lyon and Rennes looking closely at the player as well.
The latter might be considering Imbula as a replacement for Yann M'Vila, who has been strongly linked with QPR, Arsenal and Zenit St Petersburg this month. Imbula might consider a move to a Ligue 1 side the next natural step in his development, and at his age he would have time to make another big move later in his career if he wanted.
Given this interest, this January might be the best chance Chelsea have to get Imbula at a relatively low price, and an investment now could pay off hugely if the player continues to develop at his current rate.
Imbula is strong, mobile and comfortable in possession, factors that have contributed to his tag as the successor to Patrick Vieira in French football. Whilst such comparisons are often a hindrance to young players, there's no doubt than Imbula is showing tremendous potential.
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