Stoke City have announced arguably the most eye-catching and ambitious capture of deadline day, breaking their transfer record to complete the £18.3m ($26.3m) signing of Giannelli Imbula from Porto. Such a transfer, the most expensive conducted by any European club throughout the January window, has also had significant ramifications for the future of on-loan Chelsea midfielder Marco van Ginkel.
The 23-year-old moved to the Britannia Stadium on a season-long deal back in July 2015, with manager Mark Hughes declaring that he would bring "great energy" to an engine room containing the likes of Glenn Whelan, Geoff Cameron and Charlie Adam.
After suffering from a torn cruciate ligament in 2013 and sustaining ankle damage during a stint at AC Milan last term, Van Ginkel would have hoped to gain significant first-team experience during his time with Stoke. That did not quite go to plan, however, and the two-cap Dutch international has now departed in order to return to his native Netherlands and link-up with Eredivisie leaders PSV Eindhoven.
"Stoke City can confirm that midfielder Marco van Ginkel's loan from Chelsea has ended," the Potters revealed shortly after unveiling Imbula. "The Dutch international made 21 league and cup appearances for the Potters, including eight starts in the Premier League.
"The club wishes to place on record their appreciation of Marco's efforts and wish him every success in the future."
Confirming Van Ginkel's next move, Chelsea said: "Marco van Ginkel has today joined PSV Eindhoven on loan until the end of the season."
Imbula's signing is a considerable statement of intent for Stoke, who have taken the slightly unusual step of confirming the exact fee involved. He will not be registered in time to feature against Manchester United on 2 February, but could feasibly make his debut during the visit of Everton next weekend.
"Giannelli is a player we have been trailing for some time and we are delighted to have concluded a deal to sign him," chief executive Tony Scholes said. "At one stage it looked unlikely that we would be able to get the deal over the line but things accelerated quickly earlier today and Giannelli is really excited about the prospect of playing in the Premier League with us."