Chelsea have reportedly taken the lead in the race to sign Jean Michael Seri, who is also a summer target for Premier League rivals Arsenal.
According to a report by Daily Mirror, Chelsea have taken pole position in the race to sign Jean Michael Seri in the summer transfer window. The Ivorian midfielder is also the subject of interest from Arsenal, who have held talks with OGC Nice over a possible switch to the Emirates.
Seri had burst into the spotlight last season, when he played a pivotal role to lead OGC Nice to the cusp of their maiden UEFA Champions League qualification. His exploits had brought forth interest from a number of top clubs across Europe, including Barcelona, Arsenal and others.
But, a move would subsequently fail to materialise as Nice kept hold of him. Seri though, moved on from last summer’s disappointment quite well with 2 goals and 10 assists in 42 outings across all competitions this season, although the going was slightly tough for the Ligue 1 outfit as they finished 6th on the table.
However, with the Ivory Coast international maintaining his level of performances, the suitors have only ended up increasing in his pursuit. Arsenal have reignited their interest in Seri heading into the transfer window this summer, with Chelsea emerging as the latest club in his pursuit.
For Arsenal, the interest in Seri does make sense as they get set for a complete overhaul of their squad in the summer following the departure of Arsene Wenger. Part of this overhaul is likely to see Jack Wilshere move away from the North London club, which would open up a slot in midfield, making Seri a viable target to replace the Englishman.
Chelsea, too, are in need of improving their squad considerably after a below par 2017-18 campaign, and midfield is rightly an area of concern. Tiemoue Bakayoko has only just started showing some signs of the potential that would ideally make him a long term solution in midfield, but he is still some way off the required levels.
With the likes of Ross Barkley and Danny Drinkwater struggling to adjust to life at Stamford Bridge, the need to bolster midfield is urgent for the deposed champions, and Seri could ideally go a long way in addressing some of the problems the Chelsea squad.
If the report is anything to go by, Chelsea are now leading Arsenal in the player’s pursuit, even though the Gunners are in talks with Nice over a possible move. The reason hasn’t been mentioned, even as both clubs face managerial uncertainties in the capital.
The only thing that appears certain is that whoever lands Seri will have to pay around £40 million – a fair price considering the current market conditions. It now remains to be seen if Arsenal can do anything to usurp Chelsea in pursuit of the 26-year-old, or if the Blues succeed in signing him.