Managerless Arsenal ‘target £40m Nice star Seri’
Gunners reportedly in talks to sign Nice midfielder Jean Michael Seri – as speculation grows that former player Mikel Arteta will take over from Arsene Wenger
17 May, 2018 — By Steve Barnett
ARSENAL might not know who their next manager is going to be, but that hasn’t deterred them from making plans to strengthen their squad for next season.
Officials from the club have reportedly held talks with the representatives of Nice midfielder Jean Michael Seri as they look to beat London rivals Chelsea to the 26-year-old’s signature.
It is thought that Seri, who nearly signed for Barcelona last summer, would cost in the region of £40million.
Arsenal’s director of football, Raul Sanllehi, who spent 14 years at the Catalan club and current La Liga champions, has reopened dialogue with agents who work on behalf of the talented Ivory Coast international.
Seri has 18 caps for his country, and made 30 appearances in Ligue 1 this season as he helped Nice finish sixth.
Sanllehi rates Seri highly but any deal to bring him to the Emirates Stadium will be put on hold until after Arsenal have appointed their new manager.
That could be as early as next week with growing speculation that former player Mikel Arteta will take over from Arsene Wenger, who is officially clearing out his desk today (Thursday) after 22 years in charge of the club.
Despite lacking in managerial experience, Arteta must have picked up a trick or two working as assistant coach under Pep Guardiola at Manchester City for the past two seasons.
Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis, who has already stated that the club will appoint a new manager before the World Cup starts next month, wants Wenger’s successor to fulfil a head coach role to fit into the club’s new management structure. It is unclear just how much say the new boss will have when it comes to transfers.
Behind the scenes the reshuffle has already started with the head of medical services, Colin Lewin, losing his job after 23 years with the Premier League club earlier this week.
Meanwhile there was disappointing news for Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere yesterday (Wednesday) when he was left out of the England squad ahead of this summer’s World Cup.
The 26-year-old, who won the last of his 34 caps in Euro 2016 when England were knocked out by Iceland, had to pull out of recent friendlies against the Netherlands and Italy through injury.