CHELSEA are preparing a summer move for Nice midfield enforcer Jean Michael Seri.
The deposed Premier League champions plan a major overhaul during the close season following a disappointing campaign.
Antonio Conte’s side just have the FA Cup left to salvage their season. They are 10 points behind fourth-placed Tottenham, and likely to miss out on a Champions League place.
And Blues chiefs are now understood to have contacted their Nice counterparts about a deal for £35million-rated Ivory Coast international Seri.
The 26-year-old has played a major part in his unfancied south coast club’s success since joining them from Portuguese club Pacos de Ferreira in 2015 for just £1m.
He almost moved to Barcelona last summer, only for the deal to break down.
Manchester City, Liverpool and Manchester United have also shown interest in the 17-cap international.
Reports in France claim Chelsea will meet Seri’s 40 million euros (£35m) release clause – and say that Nice will grant his wish to move to a bigger club following three seasons with them.
The midfielder began his career with famed Ivorian club ASEC Mimosas, the Abidjan outfit where Kolo and Yaya Toure first started out.
He moved to Europe in 2012 to join Porto’s reserve side before breaking through at nearby Pacos de Ferreira.