Stoke agree to pay club record $26 million for Porto’s Giannelli Imbula

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Stoke City are ready to splash to cash for Porto’s Giannelli Imbula.

Talks with Porto had broken down over the past few days, but reports are now coming out that a breakthrough has been made and the two sides have agreed on a transfer fee.

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That fee is expected to be around $26 million, smashing Stoke’s club record of $17 million paid for Xherdan Shaqiri last summer.

Imbula is a 23-year-old defensive midfielder who moved to Porto from Marseille in June of 2015 for a fee of around $22 million, becoming the most expensive signing in Portuguese history. However, after just half a season with Porto, it looks like he could be on his way to the Premier League.

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Reports state that manager Mark Hughes was impressed by Imbula when the Potters played Porto in a preseason match, and has had eyes on the midfielder ever since.

Should this move go through, Stoke would get a massive boost in the center of the park, with Imbula staying home defensively to allow the likes of Bojan and Ibrahim Afellay to have more freedom moving forward.

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A signing like this is just another step in the transformation of Stoke City, growing from mid-table side to a team with a strong chance of qualifying for European football and even challenging for a top-five position.