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Arsenal and Chelsea have been dealt a huge blow in their pursuit of OGC Nice midfielder Jean-Michael Seri, as he prefers a move to Napoli, according to the Mirror.
The midfielder has been linked with the two London sides for a while, with the Gunners being tipped to sign him for much of this summer, and Chelsea more recently joining the race.
The Gunners have been looking to add him up as they are keen on strengthening their central midfield position with someone of his quality.
The Blues recently joined the race as they plan to replace Danny Drinkwater who has flopped after his £30 million arrival last summer.
However, the midfielder’s agent has quashed such hopes after he revealed that the Ivory coast international wants to play in the Serie A next season and not the Premier League.
“We hope to have positive news in the next fews hours in Naples,” Mala told Italian outlet CalcioNapoli24 .
“Informal contacts with Napoli, there is still no lunge from De Laurentiis’ company.
“We are ready to meet Napoli. Napoli is in pole position.
“Seri prefers the Piazza di Napoli compared to others, all in such a way as to close the negotiation.
“The €40m (£35m) termination clause expires on July 15, so you have to pay it by this date. After July 15, Nice can ask for any amount.”
The Gunners might not be so bothered as reports claim they have completed a deal for Sampdoria midfielder Lucas Torriera, though are yet to announce it.