Arsenal and Tottenham set to embark in summer battle for Nice midfielder Jean Michael Seri

Arunava Ray
Barcelona chief rules out signing Arsenal and Liverpool target Jean Michael Seri from Nice

TottenhamHotspur and Arsenal have both emerged as contenders for Ivory Coast international Jean Michaël Seri amid interest from Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona. The Nice midfielder has been in brilliant form this season and has been an important part of Nice's title bid, having progressed to second in the table following their win over PSG last Sunday.

The Guardian reports that both north London clubs have held talks with his agent last week and a deal is likely to be finalised for a fee in the range of £20m ($26m).

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He has a release clause of €40m (£33m, $42.5m) but clubs are confident that the Ligue 1 club will be ready to sell for much less. Unai Emery has reportedly made the box-to-box midfielder his top priority for the summer amid talks that midfielder Marco Verratti may be on his way to Juventus.

Seri has scored six goals and assisted nine in 31 appearances this season and it would be a major shot in the arm for both London clubs if they can secure a move for the 25-year-old.

The player himself has revealed that he would be more than willing to make a move if situations permit but would only do so if he is promised regular playing time.

"There are a lot of clubs that follow me. But there is nothing done," Seri explained.

"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."

The Gunners are confirmed to finish below Spurs for the first time in over 20 years following their North London derby defeat last Sunday at White Hart Lane. Arsenal are currently six points behind fourth placed Manchester City with a game in hand and are looking very likely to miss out on a top four spot for the first time under ArseneWenger.

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