Giannelli Imbula
Giannelli Imbula (left) has been impressive for Marseille in Ligue 1Reuters

Manchester United are reportedly bracing themselves for a bidding war with Chelsea as they look to compete for the signature of Marseille midfielder Giannelli Imbula in January.

The 22-year-old, who arrived at Marseille from Guingamp for a fee of £6 million in the summer of 2013 after being voted as the Ligue 2 player of the season, has been linked with a move to England, with Chelsea thought to be leading the race to sign him.

Although the Blues were initially believed to be after Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba, they have reportedly diverted their attention to the Belgian-born midfielder after seeing the former Manchester United man sign a new contract with the Old Lady last week.

Chelsea are also reportedly hoping to beat Arsenal to the signature of Real Madrid midfielder Sami Khedira, but Imbula is thought to be their number one priority in January.

Due to this reason, United, who have now reportedly joined the race to sign the French defender, are bracing themselves for a bidding war in January.

Meanwhile, Manchester United legend Bryan Robson feels that Louis van Gaal was right to name Wayne Rooney as the club's new captain despite the striker having issues with his temper now and then.

"I think the manager made the right decision in making Wayne captain. There wasn't anybody who stood out above Wayne; he's as good a captain as we've got at United," Robson told United's official website.

"The way Wayne goes about the game, works hard for his team-mates and works hard for himself, is an example to everyone."

But the 57-year-old feels that Rooney, who was recently suspended for three games after being shown a straight red card for a rash challenge on West Ham's Steward Downing, now has to be more responsible and keep his temper in check.

"The one thing Wayne has to take on board is that he's under even more scrutiny now," added Robson, who is currently the global ambassador for Manchester United. "We saw him get sent off recently and, as a captain, you can't be doing that. But Wayne knows that – I spoke with him at the training ground after the incident and he's well aware of it."

However, the former England midfielder believes that Rooney has matured a lot over the years.

"He's calmed down an awful lot in recent years. When he was 18 he hadn't matured; now it looks like he's beyond that. But in my mind I think he's done that because he's keen to impress, desperate to show people he cares. I don't think it'll happen again."