Belfast Telegraph

Stoke break transfer record to land Imbula

By Staff Reporter

Stoke have smashed their transfer record to sign Porto midfielder Giannelli Imbula for £18.3million.

The 22-year-old signed a five-and-a-half year contract after what Potters chief executive Tony Scholes admitted was a race against time.

Scholes conceded: "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 and Giannelli is really excited about the prospect of playing in the Premier League with us."

Imbula's arrival is another sign of the rising ambition level at the Britannia Stadium coming just five months after the club paid £12m to sign Xherdan Shaqiri from Inter Milan.

Stoke boss Mark Hughes said: "Giannelli is a good young player. He has great power, good ability on the ball and a great range of passing."

Meanwhile, Everton have completed the £13.5m signing of Lokomotiv Moscow striker Oumar Niasse. The 25-year-old Senegal international signed a four-and-a-half-year deal.

Kilmarnock have secured the loan capture of Northern Ireland full-back Lee Hodson from MK Dons.

Celtic completed the double signing of Colin Kazim-Richards and Patrick Roberts.

Turkey striker Kazim-Richards has joined on a two-and-a-half year contract from Feyenoord while 18-year-old winger Roberts joins on an 18-month loan deal from Manchester City.

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