Imbula, who plays for Guingamp in his homeland, is being tracked by Arsene Wenger, but he now faces competition for the player from AS Roma.
Wenger has a proven track record for buying French youngsters, spanning back as far as 1996 when Patrick Vieira was signed just before the philosophical manager arrived from managing in the J-League.
Other buys in the past that have been successful include Abou Diaby and Laurent Koscielny, although sometimes his eye for good home talent doesn’t work out – as Pascal Cygan can testify.
Wenger is willing to spend £8m of the Gunners’ transfer budget on a player for the future. Imbula has made over 90 appearances for Guingamp since breaking into their first team setup four years ago.
However, the 20-year-old is also now being monitored by former Serie A giants Roma, according to Sky Italia.
Last week, Roma appointed former Lille coach Rudi Garcia as their new manager.
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