According to Sky Sports, Stoke City are planning a record move for Porto midfielder Giannelli Imbula.
The Potters have been linked with a move for the 23-year-old for quite some time now and manager Mark Hughes has consistently refused to rule out a move for the player.
The former France U-21 international moved to Porto from Marseille in a £15 million summer deal, and he is currently valued at £19m. Therefore, any potential deal for Imbula would eclipse the £12m the Potters paid for Xherdan Shaqiri in the summer.
When asked about any possible signing in January, Hughes said in his press conference on Thursday:
“All good players, all at good clubs, and the clubs they are at will probably feel they want to keep them there.
“It is inappropriate for me to talk about individual players, other than to say we’re in the market for good players. We are actively looking. We think there are opportunities if everything falls into place, but there are a lot of factors.
“We never get too ahead of ourselves because we know the potential pitfalls of the transfer process. We just have to be patient. If it happens, we’ll be delighted. If we have to bide our time until the summer, so be it.”
Imbula was born in Vilvoorde, Belgium, and made his professional debut in 2010 with Ligue 1 side Guingamp. He moved to Marseille during the summer of 2013, before joining Porto.
The midfielder has played just ten league games this season, providing one assist and receiving two yellow cards. He also featured in five Champions League games for the Portuguese giants.
He hasn’t registered a cap for the senior French national team, as it’s not sure he’ll play for them. Imbula can also join Belgium due to his birth place.
Get upto £200 in free matched bets with bet365 - Click here to find out more