Stoke City’s club-record signing Giannelli Imbula is close to completing a move to Lokomotiv Moscow, with the club willing to release the player from his contract, according to reports.
The 27-year-old joined the Potters for a club-record £18 million from FC Porto in 2016, but has become a forgotten man since.
Imbula, who operates as a defensive midfielder, caught the eye of Stoke during his time at Ligue 1 club Marseille, where he thrived in a side featuring the likes of flourishing trio Dimitri Payet, Andrew Ayew and Andre-Pierre Gignac.
After a frustrating 2016-17 season and failing to make his mark in the Premier League, the Congo international joined French outfit Toulouse in a bid to ressurect his career, playing 34 times and helping the club to avoid relegation.
The midfielder is currently on his third loan spell away from the club with Italian side Lecce, but he has become out of favour after failing to establish himself in the first team.
Despite his Stoke contract running until 2021, French outlet Le10 Sport claims that the midfielder is in advanced talks with Lokomotiv ahead of a potential move.
The Russian transfer window remains open for another three days for any sides to complete their business.
Imbula’s current parent club currently sit 21st in the Championship with three victories from their last six games providing some sense of optimism, but they will have to be at their best when they welcome promotion-chasing Cardiff City to the Bet365 stadium in their next game.