Stoke Outcast Giannelli Imbula Joins La Liga Side Rayo Vallecano on Season-Long Loan - Sports Illustrated

Stoke City midfielder Giannelli Imbula has officially joined newly promoted La Liga side Rayo Vallecano on a season-long loan ahead of the approaching Spanish transfer deadline.

Imbula, who was a club record signing when he arrived from Porto for £18.3m in January 2016, hasn't started a competitive game for the Potters since December 2016 and was earmarked for an exit from the bet365 Stadium earlier this summer.

The Belgian-born former France youth international spent last season on loan with Toulouse and hasn't even been selected for the bench in any of Stoke's six games (five Championship, one EFL Cup) so far in the new 2018/19 campaign.

Imbula still remains contracted to Stoke until the end of the 2020/21 season.

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Madrid-based Rayo Vallecano have this week been ordered to stop playing games at their Vallecas home stadium after complaints from fans over safety concerns.

No games will be played their until necessary renovations have been carried out, which may leave the club without a home for several weeks. Their scheduled La Liga home game with Athletic Bilbao this weekend has been postponed as a result.