Arsenal and Tottenham to vie with PSG for Nice’s Jean Michaël Seri

Ed Aarons
Jean Michaël Seri has only two years left of his contract remaining at Nice. Photograph: Yann Coatsaliou/AFP/Getty Images

Arsenal and Tottenham have both expressed an interest in signing the Ivory Coast international Jean Michaël Seri this summer, although the Premier League clubs will face competition from Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona for the highly-rated midfielder.

Seri has been outstanding this season in Nice’s surprise challenge for the Ligue 1 title and impressed again during the 3-1 victory over PSG on Sunday that left Unai Emery’s side third in the table. That has led to reports in France that Emery will make the 25-year-old one of his transfer priorities for PSG this summer amid rumours Marco Verratti could leave Parc des Princes for Juventus at the end of the season, although PSG are likely to face competition from both north London rivals for the player who has two years remaining on his contract.

Scouts from Arsenal and Tottenham have watched the player signed from Portuguese side Paços Ferreira in 2015 several times this season, with his representative understood to have been in London last week to informally meet officials of the two Premier League clubs. Southampton and Leicester have also been linked with an approach for Seri, who has won 12 caps for Ivory Coast.

Nice are believed to want around £20m for a player who has a release clause of €40m (£33m), with Barcelona also interested in the box-to-box midfielder who has scored six goals and laid on nine assists in 31 league appearances this season.

“There are a lot of clubs that follow me. But there is nothing done,” Seri said last week. “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.”

Arsenal also have a long-standing interest in Guinea midfielder Naby Keïta, who has so far refused to sign a new contract at German side RB Leipzig. The 22-year-old is also wanted by Liverpool and Bayern Munich, with his current club holding out for a fee in the region of £25m.

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