​Stoke midfielder Giannelli Imbula is close to returning to France after a disappointing spell in the Premier League.


​The Mirror claim Ligue 1 side Nice are on the verge completing the signing of Imbula, who joined Stoke for a club record fee of £18.3m, while Turkish giants Galatasaray, Italian club Roma and French team Marseille are also said to be interested in the former Porto man.

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Stoke are ready to take a hit on Imbula, who has disappointed after his move from Porto, but the 24-year-old is still highly thought of in France after successful spells with Guingamp and Marseille.


Nice, who surprised in France and qualified for the Champions League, are willing to offer Imbula an escape route from Stoke, who themselves finished outside the top 10 of the Premier League after a poor end to the 2016-17 season, winning just six of their final 19 games.


Nice and Stoke are in talks regarding a transfer, with the French team preferring a loan deal while the Potters want to cut ties with Imbula completely, having put a £15m price tag on the Frenchman.

Stoke City v Burnley - Premier League

Imbula has previously said he could be set to leave the bet365 Stadium after failing to make an impact on the Premier League.


"A return to Marseille? I have nothing to declare about that," he said, as quoted by ​Le 10 Sport.


"What if I stay in Stoke City? I do not know. There will be discussions with the club and my agent, and we will see the best solution for me. We will see if I stay in England or why not come back to France or go to Italy? It's complicated. There must be discussions between Stoke City and my agent to talk about a possible departure, if there is one."