Liverpool to beat Chelsea and United in race for 26-year-old star valued at £35m

Manchester United are leading Premier League rivals Chelsea and Liverpool in the race to sign Jean-Michael Seri from Nice, reports say.

Seri, 26, has been one of Nice’s star performers over the past three years, with his performances attracting attention from Barcelona.

The La Liga giants were close to securing a deal for the Ivory Coast international last summer but the deal fell through at the last minute, ensuring he remained in the south of France.

A host of clubs have expressed interest in finally signing Seri during the January transfer window but the Daily Mirror say United have emerged as favourites to secure his signature.

Jose Mourinho is actively looking for midfielders to bring to the club, with Michael Carrick set to leave in the summer, and Seri – who has a £35million buy-out clause – is a top target.

Reigning Premier League champions Chelsea have also shown interest in Seri, however, with Antonio Conte said to be losing faith in France midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko.

Liverpool are keeping tabs on the Ivorian star amid speculation linking Emre Can with a January move – Juventus are determined to sign the German.

The Mirror add that Seri, who has played 26 games this season in all competitions, is keen to move to the Premier League despite also emerging as a target for French giants Paris Saint-Germain.

Arsenal and Manchester City were both looking at Seri last summer but have turned to alternative targets, with the Gunners closing in on a deal for Malcom and City attempting to sign Brazilian Fred.