OGC Nice midfielder Jean-Michael Seri is ready to join Fulham in the next couple of days after the newly-promoted Premier League side agreed a €20m deal to sign him.
Gianluca Di Marzio reported on Tuesday that "the negotiations are now closed" for the Ivorian to join this week. It comes as quite the surprise, given the likes of Napoli, Borussia Dortmund, Arsenal and Chelsea have all made valid attempts at tempting the player from France over the last few months.
It was reported earlier this week that Dortmund had jumped into pole position in the race to acquire the signature of the player, after the Blues' initial interest in the player had appeared to have cooled. Ed Aarons on Twitter had reported that the Bundesliga side arranged a meeting with him initially scheduled for later this week - before the Cottagers struck.
Sport Witness have however rivalled the claims over Fulham's agreed deal by stating that while a fee has been thrashed out with Nice, the player himself isn't keen on joining them given the interest from more established clubs elsewhere. Fulham do however remain confident they'll see the deal through.
Fulham confident that deals for Seri, Mitrovic and Augustinsson will all be over the line soon— Dean Jones (@DeanJonesBR) July 10, 2018
Chelsea had been linked with the Ivory Coast international for several months, but with reports suggesting Maurizio Sarri is close to becoming Chelsea boss, it now appears likely that the former Napoli manager would prefer to bring Jorginho with him. Jorginho's arrival will also prove important to Chelsea getting the deal for Sarri over the line.
Seri has caught the attention of the European clubs over the past two seasons under the stewardship of former Nice manager, Lucien Favre.
Following Favre's appointment as Dortmund manager, he has made a concerted effort to strengthen the Die Schwarzgelben midfield, with Thomas Delaney already arriving from Werder Bremen for €20m. Seri was tipped to follow him, but Fulham's emergence as lead contenders has now put the move into doubt.
Seri was signed by the Ligue 1 side in 2015 for £1.8m, and has gone on to score 11 goals and help Nice reach the Europa League in the last two seasons.