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Arsenal open talks with £40m Chelsea target as transfer-fixer looks to bring player to London after almost signing him for Barcelona

Arsenal have began talks to sign Nice midfielder Jean Michael Seri, according to Sky Sports.

Seri’s reputation has grown after producing a number of influential displays in Ligue 1 and he could bolster the Gunners midfield with the futures of Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey unclear – as the duo have yet to renew their contracts.

READ MORE: Arsenal set to launch £35m bid for Bundesliga star to solve defensive crisis

According to the report by Sky Sports, Seri is valued at around £40 million and was close to joining La Liga giants Barcelona last summer.

The Gunners appear to have the edge in negotiations, given that their head of football relations, Raul Sanllehi, was close to brokering a deal between the midfielder and Barcelona whilst he was still employed by the Catalan club, as per Sky Sports.

Sky say that Sanllehi has re-opened talks with the representatives of Seri – however, any potential deal hinges until the Gunners appoint a new manager.

The Ivory Coast international has also reportedly been a transfer target by Chelsea this summer, as reported per the Metro.

Chelsea could add Seri as a long-term replacement for Cesc Fabregas given the Spaniard has 12 months left on his current deal at Stamford Bridge, as per the Evening Standard.

The addition of Seri would be a welcome addition in north London as Arsenal could look to tighten up defensively next season in the middle of the park.

They conceded 51 times this past season in the Premier League and made 15 errors leading to a goal, according to the official Premier League website.

Seri has made 30 appearances in Ligue 1 this season and scored twice and contributed to five assists.

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