If £25 million for Marseille's Gianelli Imbula is too much, perhaps a move for Monaco's Geoffrey Kondogbia would be the better option in the summer.
Last week Chelsea was set a price of £25 million for Marseille’s impressive midfield powerhouse Gianelli Imbula. It seemed a huge hike from the €8 million that OM paid for him last summer and makes any possible deal unlikely in the near future. However, for Chelsea there is another midfield they could show interest in, an alternative to Imbula and possibly available for less than OM’s asking price.
Geoffrey Kondogbia has been heavily linked with moves to England in the past. Both Newcastle United and Arsenal’s interest has been rumoured at different stages of his career. The team from the North East was linked with the France under-21 international before his move from RC Lens to Sevilla and then Arsenal were in the running before the move to AS Monaco.
After moving from Spain back to France, Kondogbia struggled to make an impact on the Monegasque side, but in the second half of last season and under Leandro Jardim this term, he has begun to impose his physical presence on the Monaco midfield trio and is slowly looking like one of their most important players.
With the departures of both James Rodriguez and Radamel Falcao this summer, Monaco have looked more and more like a selling club. They have had to reduce the wage bill and strip down any big assets.
Another goal from Kondogbia this weekend helped Monaco to a 3-1 win over SC Bastia and moved them within three points off third place in the league. However, this new found form may not be enough to stop Russian owner Dimitri Rybolovlev having to move on another couple of players to reduce the wage bill once again.
Alongside Imbula, Kondogbia is part of a very impressive group of young French midfielders. They both have a number of the same qualities; with the Monaco man more impressive when it comes to the more defensive and physical side of the game and would likely suit a place in the Chelsea midfield more than Imbula currently.
If Monaco does have to downside again, Kondogbia would be a slightly cheaper option that Imbula. The only snag would be trying to get round the reported third-party ownership issue with the Doyen Group, but Manchester United have shown with Falcao and Marcos Rojo that this is very possible.