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Arsenal are reported to be in a three-way tussle with Chelsea and Manchester City to pursue the signature of Nice midfielder Jean-Michael Seri.
The Ivory Coast international had been on the radar of the Gunners during the early stage of the 2017 summer transfer window but a deal could not materialise.
Thereafter, Seri was said to be on the cusp of joining Barcelona but the Catalan giants made an 11th hour decision to sign Paulinho from Guangzhou Evergrande instead.
ccording to Sky Sports News, the 26-year-old could be heading through the Nice exit door this summer with his existing deal due to expire in 12 months’ time.
The Gunners have not expressed any interest in signing Seri this month but Sky Sports reports that his close relationship with head of relations Raul Sanllehi could play a part in a possible deal.
Last summer, Sanllehi had come close to signing Seri for Barcelona whilst being their sporting director and the Ivorian’s representative has since remained in close contact with the Spaniard.
Nice have recently recruited former Arsenal captain Patrick Vieira as their new head coach and the Frenchman is reportedly expected to make the final decision on the midfielder’s future.
Despite being a Gunners legend, Vieira’s recent allegiance has lied with the City Group and there is the suggestion that he may seek to push through Seri’s move to Manchester City, should they fail to sign Napoli’s Jorginho.
Regardless of this, Arsenal appear to be making significant towards signing another highly-rated midfielder in Lucas Torreira from Sampdoria this month.
The Gunners are currently prepared to trigger the £22m release clause written into the midfielder’s contract which is considerably cheaper than Nice’s £35m valuation for Seri.