On Tuesday the London Evening Standard reported that Spurs midfielder Benjamin Stambouli with a return to France with Olympique de Marseille. Rarely used this season, the move to Ligue 1 would make perfect sense, but it would also open a window for Chelsea to land one of their targets this summer.
Since his summer move from Montpellier, Stambouli has only made four starts for Tottenham Hotspur and been on the pitch for 406 minutes. It is understandable that the former France under-21 would want out, desperate to find first-team football.
Stambouli was the original list that Marseille coach Marcelo Bielsa handed to president Vincent Labrune, but they failed to land the midfielder. Even if the Argentine coach leaves this summer, Labrune is still known to be a fan.
Marseille are set to lose André Ayew on a free, so recruitments are needed. However, signing Stambouli could see fellow midfielder, Gianelli Imbula, leave for the Premier League this summer.
Chelsea had been linked with a move for the 22-year-old midfielder in the January transfer window, but if Marseille had a replacement of Stambouli’s calibre in place, they would be more willing to listen to offers.
Imbula cost Marseille £6 million when they bought him from Guingamp in the summer of 2013, but he would likely cost Jose Mourinho’s side around £25 million if they wanted to bring him from France.
Kurt Zouma played the midfield role superbly against Manchester United, but it showed that Chelsea could use someone of that same build and stature to play there in the future.
Imbula would be the ideal summer signing, and Spurs selling Stambouli could hand their rivals the best chance of landing him.