Arsenal, Barcelona and AS Roma are reportedly set to be locked in a three-way battle in pursuit of OGC Nice midfielder Jean Michael Seri.

According to a report in The Sun, Arsenal have joined Barcelona and AS Roma in the race to sign Jean Michael Seri from OGC Nice in the summer transfer window. The Ligue 1 outfit, though, are holding out for £35 million for the Ivorian midfielder.

Seri was one of the standout players for Nice in what turned out to be a stupendous 2016/17 campaign for the club. The French Riviera club claimed a shock third place finish in Ligue 1 to qualify for the Champions League for the very first time, and the Ivorian was one of the cornerstones in their unprecedented success.

Seri played 34 Ligue 1 games for Nice this season, turning in a respectable return of seven goals and nine assists. And after what was the most fruitful campaign of his senior career, some of the biggest clubs in Europe are circling around the player; justifiably so.

Arsenal, Barcelona and AS Roma are all interested in signing Seri in the summer transfer window and are locked in a three-way battle for his signature.

Roma are believed to be eyeing reinforcements in midfield this summer despite finishing second in the league, with their highest points tally – an achievement that could not salvage Luciano Spalletti’s job however. As a result, Seri has emerged as a top target for the Giallorossi, although an initial bid has been turned down by Nice.

Meanwhile, Barcelona are keen to make amends for the failures of 2016/17 by helping Ernesto Valverde bolster his squad in the summer transfer window. Midfield is believed to be a priority for the Catalan club after the likes of Ivan Rakitic, Denis Suarez and Andre Gomes blew hot and cold over the course of the campaign.

Additionally, Andres Iniesta is in the twilight years of his career, meaning the need to sign a quality central midfielder has accentuated for Barcelona. The two clubs, though, are set to face competition for Seri in the form of Arsenal, with the North Londoners eager to land a midfielder this summer as well.

The race for Seri is hotting up. (Photo courtesy - Franck Pennant/AFP/Getty Images)
The race for Seri is hotting up. (Photo courtesy – Franck Pennant/AFP/Getty Images)

The Gunners endured a disastrous Premier League campaign in 2016/17 as they finished outside the Top 4 for the first time under Arsene Wenger, thereby failing to make the Champions League.

Inconsistent performances in midfield has been identified as one of the primary reasons for their failures. And while Granit Xhaka and Aaron Ramsey have adjusted well to Arsene Wenger’s newly-implemented 3-4-2-1 formation, the Frenchman is keen to make reinforcements to add steel to the heart of midfield.

He is, thus, eyeing Seri for a move in the summer transfer window, and the report claims that the Arsenal boss has already met the player’s representatives. Nice, though, are unwilling to let go of their prized asset and are holding out for £35 million for the services of the player.

It now remains to be seen if the three aforementioned clubs take the decisive step in pursuit of Seri by matching the asking price.

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