Report: Stoke City launch club record bid for coveted midfielder Giannelli Imbula

Porto’s Giannelli Imbula has been linked with Stoke City, Southampton, Aston Villa and West Bromwich Albion.

According to a report in the Mirror, Stoke City have launched an incredible club record £19 million offer for Porto’s talented holding midfielder Giannelli Imbula.

The publication indicates that the midfielder’s lack of game-time at Porto has attracted the attentions of a number of Premier League clubs, with Stoke leading the way with an official bid.

Imbula, a former France U21 international, only joined Porto last summer as the Portuguese giants beat a number of clubs to prize him away from French side Marseille.

However, in spite of his evident abilities, the 23-year-old has struggled to make an impact at the Estadio do Dragao, appearing in only 11 league games and one domestic cup encounter.

His situation is said to have alerted a number of Premier League clubs, with the French editorial L’Equipe also accrediting Southampton, West Bromwich Albion and Aston Villa with an interest.

The Saints are seemingly keen to find a long-term replacement for Victor Wanyama, whereas the Baggies are looking at potential options early ahead of a likely summer spending spree.

But it is Stoke who have jumped to the front of the queue, launching a club record bid.

The Potters have added to their squad well over the last 18 months with Bojan Krkic, Xherdan Shaqiri and Ibrahim Afellay bringing in plenty of flair and creativity to the Britannia Stadium.

And now boss Mark Hughes is keen to add a bit of muscle, seeing 6ft 1inch midfield enforcer Imbula as the ideal man to lead his side towards a potential challenge for a top four spot.

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