Arsenal agree €41m deal for 26-year-old in-demand creative midfielder

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Arsenal are reportedly deemed favourites to pursue the services of Nice midfielder Jean-Michel Seri during this summer’s transfer window. The Ivory Coast international put in an all-round performance for the French outfit, who finished third in Ligue 1 last term.

Seri, a central midfielder by trade, notched seven goals and nine assists in 39 outings for Nice last season, and his performances has seen him dubbed the ‘African Xavi’.

The Ivory Coast international has not hidden his desire to join Spanish giants Barcelona, but the Catalan outfit have been put off by his release which stands at €41m.

Roma had therein entered the race for his signature with new sporting director Monchi watching him in close quarters, but his annual wage demands of €3m scuppered the deal at the final hurdle.

French publication L’Equipe now claims that the Gunners are favourites to pursue the midfielder as they are in a good financial position to match the player’s escape clause while offering the weekly salary he demands.

Gunner boss Arsene Wenger is on the search for a robust midfielder in his ranks, and Seri could just be the answer with the player open to the prospect of leaving Nice in the transfer window.

Santi Cazorla and Aaron Ramsey have taken up similar roles under Arsene Wenger in recent seasons, but both have had their injury issues with the former set to miss the vast part of next season following another surgery on his Achilles problem.

Cazorla has had limited playing time over the past 24 months due to injury, and it looks unlikely that the club will offer him another extension beyond next season.

Jack Wilshere could be another option to drive the Gunners’ forward from midfield, but he does not appear to be in Wenger’s plan amid the uncertainty over his future.

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