Newcastle United got lucky escape avoiding Stoke City flop Gianni Imbula

Newcastle's manager Rafael Benitez celebrates winning the league with their players and staff after the match

Stoke City's forgotten man Gianni Imbula could leave the Potteries on a cut price deal - thankfully, he's not Newcastle United's problem.

Stoke's Gianelli Imbula scores their first goal

In truth, Gianni Imbula’s dreadful stint with FC Porto should have been enough to make Stoke City think twice about making the midfielder their £18.3 million club record signing, The Telegraph reports.

The Portuguese giants are notoriously hard negotiators but it appeared that they were more than willing to part company with the one-time Marseille prospect after just six months at the Estadio do Dragao.

A grand total of ten appearances in Liga Nos was all it took for Porto to realise he wasn’t up to the required standard.

And, somewhat inevitably, his ill-advised move to the Potteries has progressed in almost exactly the same way; initial expectation giving way to disappointment. These days, Imbula is the club’s expensive white elephant, failing to make a Premier League appearance since December and being frozen out of manager Mark Hughes’ plans.

As such, The Telegraph reports that Stoke will accept just £10 million amid supposed interest from Roma – almost half the amount they paid Porto a year-and-a-half ago.

Near miss

Therefore, Newcastle United could be forgiven for wiping the sweat of their brow. The Tynesiders had been linked with the languid midfielder, who resembles Yaya Toure at his idle worst, for a number of seasons.

Stoke's Gianelli Imbula in action with Manchester City's  Jesus Navas

France Football News reported that they were very close to striking a deal in 2013 as part of scout Graham Carr’s Francophile recruitment drive.

However, for every Yohan Cabaye there was a Romain Amalfitano, a Remy Cabella, Florian Thauvin, Emmanuel Riviere and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa. And, if Imbula’s forgettable stint at Stoke is anything to go by, he would have been another expensive flop rather than an inspired investment.

After Moussa Sissoko, Newcastle fans have had more than enough of talented yet work-shy midfielders.

Newcastle's Moussa Sissoko looks dejected after missing a chance to score

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for NEWCASTLE UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch