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Are Chelsea chasing a cheaper alternative to Paul Pogba?

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Chelsea's starting lineup doesn't have any glaring holes heading into the offseason, but as it has been for the past several years, depth issues continue to be an obvious problem area that really needs to be addressed. Those depth issues can be found all over the squad, as manager Jose Mourinho clearly doesn't have a ton of faith in many of his backup options.

At the moment, midfield depth is at or near the top of the shopping list, and on Tuesday, Chelsea have been linked to a very interesting option. Gianelli Imbula is one of the better young defensive midfielders currently playing in Europe, and reports today are suggesting that the Blues might have the inside track on an inexpensive deal for the 22-year old.

At the prices being suggested, Imbula would be a brilliant piece of business for Chelsea, as he'd be a natural backup option to Nemanja Matic, as well as a potential pivot partner for Matic in matches where Mourinho wants to play more conservatively. He's also young enough that the Blues would likely get more than one contract out of him, something that will be especially useful if they're planning big ticket purchases going forward.

The rumored price raises a bit of a red flag about the validity of this report, as far as I'm concerned. We know Marseille have interest in developing a partnership with Chelsea, in which the Blues would use Ligue 1 as a finishing school for some of their better prospects. Frankly, that potential partnership is the only reason I can think of that they'd be remotely willing to sell Imbula for that amount, financial troubles or no.

More likely, those financial troubles are going to force Marseille to sell, and this L'Equipe report is simply the club letting it be known that the player is very available. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.