Chelsea have been dealt a major blow this summer, with West Ham United looking to agree a deal for Jean Michael Seri. The OGC Nice midfielder has a release clause of £35m and could be on the move after impressing in Ligue 1 last season.

According to The S*n, new Hammers manager Manuel Pellegrini is keen to bring the 26-year-old to the London Stadium and is looking to hijack Chelsea’s deal. Seri nearly joined Barcelona last summer before the deal broke down and they signed Paulinho instead, but he’s still rated highly.

The Ivorian international has scored and created 38 goals in 123 appearances in all competitions for Nice since his 2015-move from Pacos Ferreira and turned things around last season after a slow start – 43 appearances, two goals, 10 assists. He has just 12 months left on his deal at the Allianz Riviera so his exit looks inevitable given all the interest in his signature.

Pellegrini is in the market for a midfielder ahead of next season, having also been linked with Arsenal playmaker Jack Wilshere, but they may be setting their sights too high with Seri. The Nice star is unlikely to choose West Ham over Chelsea given the latter will be in the Europa League and can offer considerably more in wages.