BREAKING NEWS: Stoke seal club-record £18m Imbula signing


Stoke City have completed the club-record signing of midfielder Giannelli Imbula from Porto for a fee of £18.3million.

The 23-year-old has signed a five-and-a-half-year contract at the Britannia Stadium. 

His fee comfortably dwarfs the previous record £12m paid for Xherdan Shaqiri when he was brought in from Inter ahead of the current season.

Mark Hughes told the club's official website: "Giannelli is a good young player.

"He has great power, good ability on the ball and a great range of passing and there's no doubt he will add to the quality that we already have at the Club. 

"He played against us in pre-season and although I was already aware of him, seeing him at first hand resonated with me."

Imbula signed for Porto from Marseille last July for £15m, but he has only made 10 league appearances this season and has now been moved on for a swift profit.

Hughes confirmed earlier on deadline day that negotiations were progressing and Stoke have now completed their first signing of the transfer window.

Stoke chief executive Tony Scholes said: "Giannelli is a player we have been trailing for some time and we are delighted to have concluded a deal to sign him. 

"At one stage it looked unlikely that we would be able to get the deal over the line but things accelerated quickly earlier today and Giannelli is really excited about the prospect of playing in the Premier League with us."

Prior to joining Porto, Imbula spent two seasons with Marseille, starting 37 of their 38 Ligue 1 games in 2014-15.