After Alexander Lacazette, Arsenal could again draw in Ligue 1 to strengthen. The Gunners are interested in midfielder Jean-Michaël Seri.Arsenal are all set to clinch a deal for OGC Nice midfielder, Jean-Michel Seri, according to a report in French news outlet, L’Equipe. The Gunners are all set to beat the likes of Barcelona, Roma and rivals Tottenham Hotspur to the Ivorian’s signature, after reportedly triggering the release clause of the midfielder, set at €41 million euros. Arsene Wenger is in the market for an all-action midfielder and after an exceptional campaign with Nice last season, Seri fits the bill .
The Ivorian, 26, caught the eye during an impressive campaign last season — scoring seven goals and making nine assists in 34 Ligue 1 appearances.Speaking last season, Seri insisted he would only consider leaving the Allianz Riviera if he was a guaranteed starter at his next club.
He said: “There are a lot of clubs that follow me. But there is nothing done.“If I leave, it will be to join a club where there is a real desire to play football as in Nice.“And I’m not going to be on the bench, I’m leaving only if I know I’m going to play.”
Seri joined Nice from Portuguese side Pacos de Ferreira for less than £1m in the summer of 2015. He has two years remaining on his current contract.
Seri also had made clear this summer that he would find it hard to turn down a move to Barcelona, in an interview with Spanish news outlet El Mundo Deportivo. However, Barcelona consider the fee asked by Nice to be too much to pay for what they consider their backup option in midfield and have prioritzed a move for Marco Verrratti instead.
The Ivorian was close to agreeing a move to Roma as well, after being scouted by new director of football, Monchi, but Seri’s wage demands of €3 million a season ensured that the transfer broke down at the last moment.
Nice boss Lucian Favre has already made it clear that he will not let Seri leave, saying “Seri? He stays, that’s definitive. We’ve lost four starting players. That’s enough. It’s not easy to replace them.” However, Arsenal may make that issue a moot point by triggering Seri’s release clause, while also having the financial muscle to satisfy the midfielder’s wage demands, notwithstanding their other transfer targets.