Ligue 1 high-flyers Nice are close to securing a deal for Stoke City midfielder Gianelli Imbula, L’Equipe has learned.

The Potters manager Mark Hughes recently admitted the club were looking to sell their record signing, who has utterly failed to justify the £18.3 million price tag.

But, finding a buyer for the 24-year-old will be no easy task, although at least Nice are interested in taking Imbula on a loan deal.

Les Aiglons are keen to continue in the same manner after two highly successful seasons and they have already recruited Adrien Tameze, Jean-Victor Makengo and Pierre Lees-Melou.

Imbula made a total of 26 Premier League appearances for the Potters since he joined from FC Porto, but his spell at the Britannia Stadium is clearly drawing to a close.

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