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Nice have sparked a transfer scramble by giving highly-rated Jean-Michael Seri the green light to leave.
Arsenal have had initial discussions with Seri’s representatives.
The Ivory Coast midfielder, 26, is expected to cost in the region of £40m
And Nice president Jean-Pierre Rivere said: “We are here to help players to improve, that is the case with him.
“Mika Seri is in the same category. A very good player who has brought a lot to the club and can legitimately have that desire to go and play abroad.”
Barcelona were close to signing Seri last summer, but the move break down, to the dismay of the player, which angered Nice.
Nice president Jean-Pierre Rivere revealed Barcelona counterpart Josep Maria Bartomeu called to apologise for the breakdown in the move.
“Julien Fournier, the general manager, called me early on Wednesday [August 23, 2017], at about 9am and said: ‘Jean-Pierre, I do not understand, I received a call from Barcelona and they told me to stop the Seri transfer’,” Rivere told Canal +.
“In the afternoon, Bartomeu called me, a little embarrassed, and said to me: ‘This is the first time that it has happened to us. Our staff have decided not to sign Seri, but it is not a financial issue’.”