According to reports, West Ham could try to hijack Chelsea’s hunt for Jean Michael Seri this summer.
West Ham have “made contact” with Nice over a move for Seri, according to reports, as they look to beat Chelsea to the £35m midfielder.
Seri is keen on a move to the Premier League, and his £35m release clause has had Chelsea on red alert all summer.
The Blues are looking to strengthen their midfield this summer, as Danny Drinkwater is likely to leave the club, Cesc Fabregas has just turned 31 and Tiemoue Bakayoko had a horrid first season in London.
Seri will of course be compared to N’Golo Kante due to his stature, but the Ivory Coast international is much more attack minded than the Frenchman, and could be a valuable addition at Stamford Bridge as they look to recover from last season’s disaster.
Averaging over two key passes per game this season, the 26 year-old would help Chelsea unlock deep defences with both his passing and dribbling, something they struggled with this season, but he would also face fierce competition for playing time.
Of course, Chelsea aren’t even sure who their manager will be next season as links to the likes of Maurizio Sarri blow hot and cold, so the Hammers could capitalise on that uncertainty and grab Seri from under the Blues’ noses.
Javier Pastore’s wage demands put a halt on a deal for the PSG playmaker, so it makes sense for Manuel Pellegrini to turn to Seri, and the wiry midfielder could actually be a better fit in East London.
Pellegrini has promised to bring a much more attacking brand of football to the London Stadium next season, and grabbing a midfielder than can carry the ball forward and unlock deep defences should be the first port of call.
At Chelsea, Seri will face competition from the likes of Kante, Fabregas and Bakayoko, but the 26 year-old can be the star of the show under Pellegrini as he enters his prime.
Seri grabbed two goals and five assists this season, but his overall impact on the game goes far beyond what the stats tell you, and if Pellegrini can get him firing behind the likes of Marko Arnautovic and Manuel Lanzini then West Ham fans could see a lot of goals next season.
Despite trying plenty of risky passes (5.3 long balls and 2.1 key passes per game), Seri boasted a 90 per cent pass success rate for Nice last season, and his set piece taking ability would be a great weapon to have as well.
£35m for a player with such natural passing ability is an absolute no brainer if Pellegrini wants to get the ball moving quickly around the huge London Stadium pitch, and the uncertainty and competition for places at Stamford Bridge would make that a much riskier career move for the 16-cap man.
So, West Ham fans, would you like to hijack Chelsea’s move for Seri? Is he worth £35m? Let us know your thoughts by voting in the poll below…