Giannelli Imbula is a target for Arsenal. [Pitcure: Reuters]
French Ligue 1’s 22-year-old defensive midfield power-house is the latest name to be linked with a move to the Emirates.
According to reports, Arsenal are interested in signing Marseille’s defensive midfielder Giannelli Imbula, as Arsene Wenger looks to add to his squad this summer.
Marseille’s 22-year-old midfielder, who has been dubbed the “new Patrick Vieira” was ever present for them last campaign, making 37 appearances in Ligue 1, helping his club to a top four finish.
Arsenal are not the only club understood to be interested, it is believed that they will face competition from Inter Milan and local rivals Tottenham, for the French international’s signature.
It was originally assumed that with Inter Milan being “very close” to signing Geoffrey Kondogbia from AS Monaco, they would end their interest, but Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio has stated that Inter will try and land both.
Imbula is a tenacious, defensive midfielder who would add that much needed combative element to the centre of the park for the Gunners.
Imbula is the latest in a long list of holding midfield players linked with a move to North London; Morgan Schneiderlin, Geoffrey Kondogbia, Victor Wanyama and Grzegorz Krychowiak have all been linked with Arsenal in recent weeks.
Imbula will likely cost around £13million, which would be very tempting for Wenger, who reportedly cooled his interest in his pursuit of Southampton’s Schneiderlin, due to their valuation of the player.
There is a real need for Arsenal to strengthen in this department, Francis Coquelin was one of the stand-out performers last season at the Emirates, but apart from him, there is not much else in the way of steel to protect the back four.
Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini are expected to be retained for next season, but neither player will fill the back four with much confidence. If Arsenal are to cement their position as a top three Premier League club, and challenge the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City next season, additions in that area are a necessity.
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