London duo battling it out over Marseille’s Imbula.
Chelsea are Arsenal are both tracking Marseille defensive midfielder Giannelli Imbula, according to The Daily Express.
The hot-headed 21-year-old has made just 12 appearances for L’Om since arriving from Guingamp this summer but has already had run-ins with staff which have seen him dropped to the bench.
But Chelsea scouts have watched the enforcer on a number of occasions this season, while Arsenal are also keen on the Belgium-born star.
Imbula’s bad-boy image was further enhanced this week when he was thrown out of the France under-21 squad for saying ‘something inappropriate’ to a member of staff and was forced to apologise in public.
The news will not have impressed officials from either London club but Chelsea are reportedly considering blowing Arsenal out of the water with a £25m bid.
Blues boss Jose Mourinho reportedly considers Imbula a successor to Claude Makelele, who was instrumental in the Portuguese’s success during his first spell at Stamford Bridge.
Mourinho is currently lacking a convincing holding midfielder, with Jon Obi Mikel unconvincing and Marco van Ginkel, Ramires and Frank Lampard favouring a box-to-box role.