By Wayne Veysey

3rd May, 2017 | 2:54pm

Guardian: Tottenham open preliminary talks to sign goalscoring midfielder, £20m will seal the deal

By Harry Sykes

Tottenham have opened preliminary talks to sign Nice central midfielder Jean Michael Seri, according to a report.

The Guardian claim Spurs and bitter rivals Arsenal have expressed an interest in prising the highly rated midfield kingpin from the French club this summer.

It is said that scouts from Tottenham and Arsenal have watched Seri in action this season and his agent was in London last week to hold preliminary talks with officials from the two Premier League outfits.

The Guardian report that Seri has a £33million release clause in his Nice contract but the Ligue 1 club would be willing to accept a fee of £20million for him this summer.

There is also interest in the box-to-box midfielder from European elite duo Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain.

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Seri has a growing reputation as a result of his exploits for France’s third-placed top flight side, who have mounted a surprise title challenge this season that has left them only six points behind leaders Monaco.

The Ivory Coast international has scored six goals and supplied nine assists in 31 league matches this season, outstanding statistics for a central midfielder.

Football Insider verdict:

Spurs’ current central midfield pairing is Victor Wanyama and Mousa Dembele, who have both had fine seasons protecting the defence and mounting the attacks for the Premier League high flyers. With the versatile Eric Dier as back-up and academy product Harry Winks making smooth progress, Tottenham are well served in this department. But one thing they lack is a goalscoring central midfield, and Seri has the ability to finish off attacks as well as start them. His statistics are excellent and it is easy to see why Tottenham are interested.

In other Tottenham news, the club have sensationally terminated the contract of one of their defenders.

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