The Blues were thought to be one of the clubs along with Arsenal, Paris Saint-Germain and Monaco chasing the 21-year-old before he opted for a move to the Stade Velodrome.
He has set Ligue 1 alight with a string of impressive performances since joining from Guingamp, attracting yet more attention from Europe's heavyweight spenders.
"I have seen [Imbula] often," Le10Sport quotes Hillion as saying. "As soon as he gets the ball, he is able to accelerate and break through the lines.
"He covers well, has good technique, great vision of the game, with a very good quality pass and a great left foot. He doesn't have bad qualities for a midfielder."
Imbula was born in Belgium but has represented France at youth level.