Fulham are reportedly set to beat off competition from Arsenal and Chelsea to sign Jean Michael Seri from OGC Nice this summer.
According to reputed Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio, Arsenal, Chelsea and other elite European clubs are set to be beaten in pursuit of Jean Michael Seri. Fulham have reached an agreement with OGC Nice over a deal worth €20 million for the Ivorian midfielder, who will complete his move this week.
Seri has built up a burgeoning reputation for himself over the last couple of seasons, having been a key figure for OGC Nice. The player was fantastic in the 2016-17 season, which also saw the French Riviera club finish third in Ligue 1 standings. The subsequent summer saw him being linked with Barcelona, before a move failed to materialise.
Last season though, Nice failed to match the heights of the previous campaign. But, Seri was still a standout performer with 2 goals and 10 assists in 42 outings. Unsurprisingly, he has been highly sought-after this summer as well, with the likes of Chelsea and Arsenal among the clubs linked with him.
At Chelsea, N’Golo Kante’s future is uncertain. Several big name clubs have been linked with a move for the Frenchman, and a departure could be on the cards. Beyond Kante, the likes of Ross Barkley and Danny Drinkwater do not inspire much confidence, while Cesc Fabregas is on the wrong side of 30.
Tiemoue Bakayoko did show signs of improvement as the 2017-18 season progressed, and should be a key player in the upcoming campaign. But there is an urgent need to bolster midfield, with Jorginho also linked with the Blues. Arsenal, on the other hand, hand have already made midfield reinforcements this summer.
The Gunners signed Lucas Torreira this week, which could see them be done for the summer, as far as midfield recruitments are concerned. But, Jack Wilshere’s Arsenal departure does leave Unai Emery with just four recognised midfielders, in addition to Ainsley Maitland-Niles. Seri was thus, a viable target.
Rumours had even been rife about Seri being in London to complete a move to the Premier League, which only boosted the rumour mill. However, Arsenal and Chelsea are now set to concede defeat in pursuit of the 26-year-old, with Premier League returnees Fulham set to sign him.
The Cottagers have been awfully quiet this summer, with no player arriving at Craven Cottage thus far. But Seri, who has drawn comparisons with Xavi, would be a coup of sorts for Fulham. Numbers paint an optimistic picture for the Londoners as well, with Seri the best distributor in Ligue 1 for each of the last two seasons.
With Seri in tow, Fulham could build the base of retaining their status as a Premier League side, and more by forming a solid midfield partnership featuring captain Tom Cairney. The transfer fee quoted by Di Marzio seems to be a steal as well, with the two clubs agreeing a €20 million deal for Seri.
With the journalist suggesting that the move could be completed as early as today, we could see Seri finally become a Premier League club. But, instead of Arsenal or Chelsea, it will be Fulham securing his services.