According to RTL France, Chelsea are in ‘advanced talks’ over OGC Nice’s box-to-box midfielder Jean Michael Seri, who has been ‘personally chosen’ by owner Roman Abramovich.

The energetic 26-year-old, who has been linked with Arsenal, could be on his way to Stamford Bridge as the Blues appear to be leading the race for his signature. Chelsea aren’t short of midfielders, but they’ve lacked quality, and the club’s underachievement last season has raised the importance to strengthen the squad.

Ross Barkley made just two Premier League appearances after joining from Everton in January, spending the majority of his debut season sidelined with injury. Danny Drinkwater made only five league starts since his move from Leicester City last summer.

Tiemoué Bakayoko also had an underwhelming debut campaign, but Seri could be a good addition to the squad. The Ivorian international was set to join Barcelona last summer before the deal broke down and the Catalans signed Paulinho instead, so Chelsea have a coveted player on their hands.

Nothing has been agreed yet, but the Blues look most likely to bring him to England this summer. Seri scored and created 12 goals in 43 games from midfield last season. He’s racked up 123 appearances in all competitions for Nice since his move from Pacos Ferreira in 2015.