Arsenal have been dealt a blow in their pursuit for Jean Michael Seri – with Chelsea emerging as the favourites for the Ivory Coast star, according to The Mirror.
Arsenal were reported to have begun talks to sign the Nice midfielder yesterday, according to Sky Sports.
The Mirror say Seri is valued at around £40million and was linked with a move to La Liga giants Barcelona last summer.
The Gunners’ 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, and is said to have opened up discussions with the player’s representatives, as per Sky Sports.
Seri would be a useful acquisition to Arsenal and could tighten up their midfield next season – given they conceded 51 times last season in the Premier League and made 15 errors leading to a goal, according to the official Premier League website.
With the futures of both Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey uncertain, he would add some much-needed depth and energy to the Gunners’ midfield.
Chelsea could add the Ivorian, 26, as a long-term replacement for Cesc Fabregas, 31, given the Spaniard has 12 months left on his current deal at Stamford Bridge, as per the Evening Standard.
He also boasts impressive numbers in Ligue 1 this season, scoring twice and contributing to five assists in 30 appearances.