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ARSENAL have reportedly opened talks over a deal to sign in-demand Nice star Jean Michael Seri.
Seri came close to joining Barcelona last summer and was heavily linked with a move to the Premier League in January.
Sky Sports report that Barca and Chelsea remain keen on the 26-year-old but it is Arsenal who have made the biggest step towards signing him.
It is said that Arsenal’s director of football, Raul Sanllehi, has held negotiations with Seri’s representatives over a summer switch.
The Ivory Coast international, who joined Nice from Pacos de Ferreira for £500,000 in 2015, is rated at around £40m.
Sanllehi is a big fan of Seri and hopes to beat Arsenal’s transfer rivals to his much-coveted signature.
But any deal will be delayed until the Gunners appoint Arsene Wenger’s successor.
Seri’s potential suitors will have time to hold talks with Ivory Coast failing to qualify for this summer’s World Cup.
Seri scored twice in 37 appearances for Nice this season, as his club finished sixth in Ligue 1.
Manchester United have also been heavily linked with the midfielder but it appears they are currently focusing on other targets.