According to reports surfacing from France on Wednesday morning, Arsenal could be preparing themselves for a return to Ligue 1 as their hunt for Nice midfielder Jean-Michael Seri gathers pace.
L’Equipe believe that the north London side have renewed their interest in the 26-year-old as they look to re-enforce their creative midfield options ahead of the upcoming Premier League campaign.
And after already securing Alexandre Lacazette from Lyon for a club record £46.5million it seems that the Gunners could be looking to invest again, although they could have to fight rivals Tottenham.
Could the 26-year-old bolster the Arsenal midfield?
After being named the Ligue 1 African Player of the Year just a few months back, it is fair to say that Nice’s midfield dynamo is one of the hottest prospects of the transfer window.
Seri played an influential part of Nice’s surprise season last time out, pushing French giants Paris Saint-Germain and Monaco all the way in the title race, and it is richly-deserved that some of Europe’s top teams are circling around him.
The 26-year-old is a busy, industrious and effective playmaker in and around the opposition half, happiest when keeping the ball fizzing around on the deck and injecting pace into his side’s attacks.
The statistics tell their own story from last season, with only PSG’s Thiago Motta completing more passes then Seri (2,403), whilst seven goals and nine assists highlight his proven calibre in the area.
73 chances created was also the best tally at Nice – and only five less than talisman Alexis Sanchez managed in the Premier League – and across the Ligue 1 season he managed to complete an astonishing 33 of his 39 attempted take-ons, showing how effective his genius direct runs can be.
But, perhaps the most appealing thing about Seri, he is currently one of the most versatile players on the market, as nobody really knows where his most natural position is.
He is comfortable as a playmaker, but additionally can be a deep-lying maestro or lend himself as a box-to-box man.
And, with Arsenal often struggling for defensive cover, with Frances Coquelin and Granit Xhaka both showing defensive frailties last season, he could really add some steel into the heart of their side.
With the latest update in the Alexis Sanchez transfer saga – as per the Independent – detailing that the Chilean is pushing for a move to Manchester, Seri could act as a more than capable replacement.
The €40million (£35.7 million) release clause in his contract could prove to be the only buffer between a move to the Emirates happening – the report claims that Nice have already dismissed numerous offers from Serie A outfit Roma – but the sale of Sanchez could raise the necessary funds.