Report: Leicester and Southampton-linked stars lined up as Giannelli Imbula’s replacement at Marseille

Marseille Velodrome

Marseille’s mooted transfer plans could affect Tottenham Hotspur, Leicester City and Southampton.

According to a report in the French publication La Provence, Marseille have identified Ngolo Kante and Idrissa Gueye as ideal replacements for midfielder Giannelli Imbula - who continues to edge towards the exits at the Ligue 1 club.

Imbula has been linked with a host of sides this summer, including Tottenham Hotspur, yet it appears Spurs are about to miss out as Serie A giants Inter Milan close in on a deal, as per talkSPORT.

With Marseille already seeking alternatives, the two names which head the list of replacements have been heavily linked with a move to the Premier League.

As per a report in The Sun, Leicester City were said to have lodged an £8 million bid for Caen’s Ngolo Kante, a deal which would see the Foxes go close to breaking their transfer record.

The other name listed in La Provence was Idrissa Gueye, a player who is also said to be the subject of a big-money bid from a keen Premier League suitor.

Reports in the paper France Football claimed Southampton had made a £7.2 million offer as they themselves look at potential replacements for the much coveted Morgan Schneiderlin.

Defensive midfielders dominating the transfer market?

That key defensive midfield position is seemingly the most important acquisition for a number of top clubs this summer, such is the value of finding the right player.

Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United, Liverpool, Southampton and Leicester head up a long list of Premier League teams actively looking at bringing in a player of that mould.

It’s interesting, but perhaps the change in formations to the more commonly-used 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 place extra emphasis on having a defensive-minded player to sit in front of the back four.

The Premier League sides aren’t alone in their quest for a top defensive midfielder this summer, though, with Inter Milan already acquiring Geoffrey Kondogbia and Valencia snapping up Ciao Rodrigo, among others.

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