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By ESPN Staff

Giannelli Imbula catches eye of Real manager Carlo Ancelotti, father says

Giannelli Imbula, left, has drawn attention from Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti, the player's father says.

Carlo Ancelotti is a big fan of Marseille midfielder Giannelli Imbula, the player's father has told L'Equipe after meeting the Real Madrid boss.

Imbula, 22, has drawn favourable comparisons with Patrick Vieira for his leggy build and lung-bursting, all-action displays in midfield for OM this season, and he's been linked to a host of big clubs, including Chelsea.

Former Blues boss Ancelotti, 55, is also among Imbula's admirers, according to the former Guingamp player's father, Willy Ndangi, who met the Italian tactician when he was invited to watch Madrid's Champions League quarterfinal encounter with neighbours Atletico.

"Ancelotti adores him. He told me he has a lot of room for improvement, but that there aren't three players like him in Europe," Ndangi told L'Equipe, adding that Ancelotti advised against his son staying at OM this summer.

"He told me it was pointless unless OM recruited some big players. In France, he advised me either PSG or Monaco to progress."

A picture of Ndangi's meeting with Ancelotti was published on Imbula's Facebook page on Thursday but has since been removed.

While in Spain, Ndangi, who also acts as his son's adviser, met sporting directors Jose Luis Caminero of Atletico Madrid and Francisco Rufete of Valencia.

After helping Guingamp to promotion to Ligue 1 in 2013 after a season in which he was named Ligue 2's player of the year, Imbula has established himself at the heart of the OM midfield, scoring twice in 34 appearances this term.

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