Arsenal and Chelsea 'next Vieira' target seals €7.5 million transfer

Marseille Velodrome

Gilbert Imbula, linked to Arsenal and Chelsea, has signed for Marseille.

Gilbert Imbula is a player who has spent the past six months of his career touted for a transfer with top clubs in England and France.

He did not take his eye off the ball either, voted as the best player in France's Ligue Two for his exploits with Guingamp.

Despite helping them win promotion as runners-up, it had long been suspected he would not hang around because of the persistent transfer rumours surrounding him.

Just four weeks ago, The Mirror reported:

"Arsenal manager Wenger has been monitoring the Guingamp midfielder for months and Imbula is also keen on a move to the Premier League.

"The 20-year-old has also been watched by Chelsea and Lyon, with Guingamp likely to want around £8million to part with him this summer."

With the pair's interest first claimed in January. As it turns out, neither Arsenal, Chelsea, or Lyon have signed him, but Marseille instead.

It was reported on Monday that l'OM had made a €6 million offer for the player, which had been rejected by Guingamp as they held out for €8 million.

Imbula, 20-year-old a defensive midfielder, has been compared to Patrick Vieira by national newspapers, and at 17 became the youngest ever player in France's Ligue 2.

Negotiations had continued all week, and even the player and club appeared to be apart on wages at one point, but now all problems have been ironed out.

Late on Friday, the transfer of Imbula to Marseille has been made official, write L'Equipewith a fee of €7.5 million plus add-ons agreed between the two clubs.

He has signed a five-year-contract and is preparing to join their squad right away as preparations for the new season are already underway.

All parties seem happy with the deal, Guingamp got almost the entire fee they wanted and Imbula not only will be playing at a higher level next season, which he would have done anyway, but will hope to be competing for silverware and places higher up the table.

For Arsenal and Chelsea, he becomes another player they can cross off their list.

image: © T1o

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