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Southampton linked with impressive Ligue 1 midfielder

According to French reports, Saints are in the race for Nice's Jean-Michaël Seri

SSC Napoli v OGC Nice Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images

You wouldn't think central midfield is the highest of concerns for Southampton boss Claude Puel, but he is reportedly interested in signing Ivorian midfielder Jean-Michaël Seri for a second time—after originally buying him while at Nice from Portuguese side Paços de Ferreira for £850k back in 2015.

According to reputable French sports outlet RMC Sport, Saints are in the race for Seri alongside Premier League clubs Everton and Leicester City.

Seri is a diminutive central midfielder who is both mobile and good on the ball—easily drawing lazy comparisons to Chelsea's N'Golo Kante.

At 25 years old, Seri has impressed as he improved on his efforts in the 2015/16 Ligue 1 campaign to this ongoing season—netting six goals and assisting nine others in 29 appearances for Nice this season so far as the club embark on an unexpected push for Champions League football.

Puel is considered a big believer in Seri's abilities, having already signed him. However, Nice are said to have stuck a €40m price tag on the Ivory Coast international, which is said to be a minimum release clause fee. Such a clause is illegal in France, so this figure is considered to be the club's valuation of the player.