The light is at the end of the tunnel for Giannelli Imbula, who, as per the Italian club, has ended his contract with Lecce, which means he will be returning to Stoke City.

The midfielder was sent to the Serie A side to try and get some game time, as he wasn’t wanted at the bet365 Stadium for the current campaign.

Following a mixed bag of loans at Rayo Vallecano and Toulouse, there was hope this would be the one to put all that behind him and start his career afresh, but it wasn’t to be.

Despite some clauses being inserted that could make the move permanent, none of those were triggered as the 27-year-old only made four appearances for the club in the first half of the season.

Despite him returning to Stoke, Foot Mercato in France explain he won’t stay there long, as they claim his contract with the Potters will also be canceled, and he will become a free agent midway through the season.

This comes less than four years after the Championship club, then in the Premier League, paid Porto €25m for his services, and a few days after it was reported Imbula had travelled to Russia and was in advanced talks with Lokomotiv Moscow.