Chelsea have joined Manchester City in the hunt for Nice star Jean-Michael Seri, according to reports in France.
L'Equipe has reported that the reigning Premier League champions could go toe to toe with their title successors this summer over the midfielder, who has been linked with a transfer away over the last 12 months.
The news comes hot off the heels that the Blues could lose N'Golo Kante to Paris Saint-Germain in the close season, and Seri could be a replacement for the ex-Leicester City ace in the heart of midfield.
If either Chelsea or City wish to prise the 26-year-old away from his current club, however, they would have to stump up Seri's reported £38.4m release clause fee.
Chelsea see to be pressing ahead with their summer transfer plans despite a cloud still hanging over Antonio Conte's future at Stamford Bridge, with a number of big-money moves already being mooted in the media across Europe.
Seri is just the latest of those reputable stars who has been touted as a future Chelsea signing, but City will push them hard to convince him that west London is the place to be rather than at the Etihad stadium.
Xavi on Jean-Michael Seri: “I did not know him and I was stunned: I haven’t seen such midfield talent for a while. [His] short game, long game, tactical intelligence, distance shooting, personality, game organisation…wow!” pic.twitter.com/gig6JIuFGn— (@FlicksLikeEden) 11 April 2018
City have a plethora of centre midfielders who would likely start ahead of Seri if he moved to Manchester but, with veteran ace Fernandinho and the out-of-favour Yaya Toure needing a long-term replacement soon, Seri fits the bill for Pep Guardiola's men.
Seri, who has also been linked with Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United over the past two transfer windows, looks likely to leave Lucien Favre's outfit this summer amid upheaval at the club.
Favre and Mario Balotelli have both been reportedly lined up to leave Nice themselves, and the Ivory Coast international may feel it is time for his own new challenge if his manager and teammate decide to up sticks and head elsewhere too.