Chelsea in pole position to sign brilliant Bakayoko replacement

Chelsea could yet end the season as FA Cup winners, but failure to qualify for the Champions League means that the 2017/18 campaign will ultimately have to go down as a disappointing one for Antonio Conte and his players.

Whether or not the Italian keeps his job remains to be seen, but there are sure to be plenty of comings and goings in the transfer market whoever is in charge, with the West London outfit looking to freshen up their squad.

One player reported to be a £40m target for both the Blues and Arsenal is Ivory Coast international Jean Seri, though the 26-year-old is thought more likely to be playing his football at Stamford Bridge than the Emirates Stadium in 2018/19.

Over the course of the previous three campaigns, the versatile central midfielder has established himself as a key performer for Nice, featuring in over 100 Ligue 1 matches for the French club:

These appearances have yielded a total of 12 goals and 21 assists, but it is the dramatic downturn in his team’s form when he was missing last season that says most about what Seri is capable of bringing to the table.

Equally at home dictating the tempo of his side’s play from a position in front of the defence or getting up and down as a box-to-box midfielder, the 26-year-old would represent a massive upgrade on Tiemoue Bakayoko at the heart of the Blues’ midfield:

Already operating at a good standard in French football, lining up alongside N’Golo Kante should enable the Ivorian to take his game to the next level, particularly given the way in which he dedicates himself to honing his craft.

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