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Arsenal eye Jean-Michael Seri swoop... but £40m star prefers Chelsea and Manchester City

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 15/5/2018 James Benge

Arsenal face a major challenge if they are to secure the signing of Jean-Michael Seri as Manchester City and Chelsea weigh up moves for the Nice midfielder.

The Gunners have made contacts with Seri’s representatives over a summer move for the 26-year-old, who is valued by his club at around £40million.

However Standard Sport understands that the Ivory Coast international would favour a move to one of their Premier League rivals. City would be able to offer Seri Champions League football and the chance to work under Pep Guardiola whilst Chelsea are also a more attractive prospect despite doubt over who will succeed Antonio Conte, if the incumbent manager does indeed depart the club after Saturday's FA Cup Final as expected.

Neither of Arsenal's rivals have yet made their move but both have been consistently linked with Seri, who was named in the 2017 Ligue 1 team of the season.

If Arsenal are to succeed in convincing Seri to make the switch to the Emirates Raul Sanllehi could play a crucial role.

The head of football relations was involved in Barcelona’s ultimately failed pursuit of the midfielder last summer, brought about after Nice upped their asking price late in the transfer window, and holds the midfielder in high regard.

Arsenal were also linked on Seri last summer but never formalised their interest.

However Seri, who scored two goals and provided seven assists for Nice in Ligue 1 this season, could prove to be the dynamic midfielder presence the Gunners have been crying out for in recent years.

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