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.
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.
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.