Bold Step: Arsenal Sporting Director Sanhelli set to help sign midfield genius

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Raul Sanhelli’s relationship with Jean-Michel Seri could help Arsenal land the 26-year-old midfield genius ahead of Manchester City and Chelsea.

Arsenal’s new director of football reportedly formed a close relationship with the Ivorian last year when he tried to sign him for Barcelona.

That deal didn’t come off, something that Seri reportedly still finds painful, but this summer he is definitely on the move.

Nice are ready to let him, Mario Balotelli, and Alassane Plea leave with L’Equipe reporting that Arsenal are still interested in Seri who is out of contract next summer.

In their Monday edition, they write, “Seri, who focuses interests in the Premier League: Manchester City have added Chelsea – where Roman Abramovich likes him – as well as Arsenal. Raul Sanllehi, director of sports affairs at the London club after having worked for Barça for a long time, has indeed had good relations with the Ivorian midfielder since the player nearly rallied the Catalan giant last summer. The failure of this transfer remains painful for Seri.”

Over the summer, Seri was the only player who came close to Monaco’s Thomas Lemar in terms of Arsenal media speculation.

Arsenal are said to be in the market for a midfielder but Seri’s £36m release fee apparently doesn’t existso it’s not clear how much he would cost.

Speaking last summer, Seri said that Arsenal were one of the ‘big clubs’ he’d be happy to join.

“Is the Barca move dead? I want to be optimistic and think that there are still options,” Seri told Spanish outlet, Mundo Deportivo.

“Let the two clubs talk quietly again and come to an agreement.

“We are not talking about any club, where you are going to sign for money.

“I want to sign for big European clubs, like Juventus, PSG, Arsenal, Borussia Dortmund, Liverpool.

“For example, Roma, has made several offers.

“I have spoken many times with [Rome director] Monchi and this transfer has not happened either because of economic reasons.

“Monchi got tired of the leaders of Nice!

“Roma was a good choice, but nothing to do with Barca.”

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