Arsenal are in negotiations with Jean Michael Seri but Chelsea remain in pole position to sign the Nice midfielder.
The Ivorian has enjoyed another impressive campaign and attracted Premier League interest with a potential transfer fee of £40million being touted.
The Gunners were interested in Seri last season but Antonio Conte’s side are still front-runners to secure the 26-year-old, according to the Mirror.
Barcelona also attempted to lure Seri to the Nou Camp last summer but a deal could not be struck and he remained with Lucien Favre’s side.
He has been a mainstay in the Nice team again this term, starting 30 games in Ligue 1 and chipping in with two goals, though his role is primarily as a defensive midfielder.
There remains an uncertainty over the managerial positions at both Chelsea and Arsenal which could play a part in any negotiations.
Conte’s future is up in the air after an underwhelming title defence, though the Stamford Bridge club still have the opportunity to finish the campaign with some silverware in the FA Cup final against Manchester United this Saturday.
And with Arsene Wenger’s successor yet to be named, plans for next season may be affected.
Mikel Arteta is the favourite to replace his former manager, though he looks like missing out on Seri to Chelsea as both sides prepare for the new campaign.