Chelsea are in pole position to sign Nice midfielder Jean-Michael Seri despite Arsenal stepping up their interest earlier this week.
Reports emerged on Tuesday claiming Arsenal had met with Seri's representatives in an effort to push through a move for the Ivorian, who they pursued without success last summer.
But the Mirror report that Chelsea are more likely to secure a deal for the 26-year-old as they have greater financial resources to use as a bargaining chip.
Seri is valued at £40m after an excellent season in Ligue 1 and with reports claiming that the next Arsenal manager will only have £50m to spend, the Nice midfielder may be outside of their price range.
Chelsea, on the other hand, are prepared to spend big in an effort to get back into the top four, which they missed out on this season for only the third time in 16 years.
He would be an ideal replacement for Nemanja Matic, who was missed last season after leaving for Manchester United. Replacement Tiemoue Bakayoko failed to convince in his debut season at Stamford Bridge.
Arsenal's interest also has the ring of untruth about it, as it would seem somewhat curious for the Gunners to pursue a player without knowing who his manager will be next season. Mikel Arteta is holding talks with club officials on Tuesday but nothing is yet confirmed.
However, the new Gunners manager would be likely to take up a head coach role with head of recruitment Sven Mislintat pursuing transfers, so Arsenal's interest in Seri is probably the German's work.
Seri arrived in France from Portuguese side Pacos de Ferreira in 2015 and has made over 120 appearances for Nice in three years since then.