Reasons revealed for Marseille's Giannelli Imbula snubbing Chelsea

Stamford Bridge Inside

The father of Marseille midfielder Giannelli Imbula claims the France U21 international snubbed a move to Chelsea because of their loan plans.

Giannelli Imbula is one of the most sought-after talents in Ligue 1, with the 22-year-old shining for Marseille.

Chelsea are among those to have noted his talents and attempted to acquire them.

The Blues have, however, seen their efforts knocked back and now find themselves out of the running.

Arsenal are another Premier League heavyweight said to be keen, and they have been made aware of what it will take to land the Belgium-born France U21 international.

Chelsea failed in their pursuit because they wanted to send Imbula out on loan, possibly for a prolonged period of time, and those around the youngster advised him against taking such a gamble in his promising career.

Imbula’s father, Willy Ndangi, told L’Equipe: “You know how much I refused from Chelsea? A million euros (£800,000).

“About a month before Giannelli signed with Marseille, I had a meeting with a Chelsea official. But their people wanted a stranglehold on the player for five years. They wanted to put in place a sort of masked ownership.

“The youngster would have to have been willing to go left, right, to Turkey or who knows where. Like the system in place with Kondogbia, Mangala and all those others.

“The footballer must be free and have control over his career and salary. I did not want Giannelli to have a leash around his neck.”

Imbula is a hard-working midfielder who has been competing at a high level in France since the age of 17.

He has been with Marseille since the summer of 2013 and has quickly become a key part of their plans.

Managers in England believe he is capable of being a star turn in the Premier League, but he will need to be given assurances that he will be a regular if he is to make such a move in the near future.

Register for CHELSEA team updates

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch