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Chelsea could miss out on a deal for Nice star Jean-Michael Seri because of the ongoing speculation surrounding Antonio Conte, reports say.
Conte, 48, was expected to be sacked by Chelsea following the conclusion of the 2017-18 campaign but he remains in charge before the World Cup begins.
The former Italy boss won the Premier League and FA Cup at Stamford Bridge and is unwilling to resign as he has a year remaining on his current contract.
For Chelsea to replace Conte, they would therefore have to hand him a significant pay-off.
Maurizio Sarri and Laurent Blanc have been heavily linked with the west London club.
On Sunday, Eden Hazard admitted he was anxious to discover who would be in charge of Chelsea next season and which players would be signing for the Blues.
And the managerial situation at Stamford Bridge could have wider repercussions as Sky Sports say it is proving a stumbling block in the pursuit of Seri.
Chelsea are known admirers of the Ivorian midfielder, who is valued at £35million, but face competition from Premier League rivals Arsenal and Manchester City in the race to secure his signature.
Arsenal’s interest in Seri, it is claimed, is through Head of Football Relations Raul Sanllehi, who attempted to sign Seri last summer while he was at Barcelona.
Sky Sports suggest Seri’s next club could also be Premier League champions City, particularly following Patrick Vieira’s appointment as Nice boss.
Vieira has strong ties with Manchester City, having left a coaching role at the club to manage their sister side New York City in America.
Pep Guardiola will strengthen his squad at the Etihad this summer and Seri has emerged as a target as the club try to finalise a deal for Napoli’s Jorginho.