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Nice in talks over Le Marchand return

Nice are in talks with Fulham over the possible return of their former defender Maxime Le Marchand on loan, according to reports in France.

Le Marchand made 77 appearances in three seasons with Les Aiglons before joining the Whites in July 2018. Nice are seeking short-term defensive cover Brazilian centre half Dante picked up an untimely knee injury and would value a signing with significant Ligue 1 experience, which their young set of defenders currently lack.

The 31 year-old, who helped Fulham win promotion back to the Premier League at the first attempt last season, has made just four first-team appearances this term having been usurped by summer signings Ola Aina, Joachim Andersen and Tosin Adarabioyo as Scott Parker reshaped a failing defence. His only league start came in the 1-0 defeat by Wolves at the start of October. It is understood that the proposed loan deal would not include a purchase option. The versatile defender has made 48 appearances in two and half seasons at Craven Cottage.

Fulham complete Le Marchand deal

On a busy day at Motspur Park, Fulham have also confirmed that they have completed a deal to bring Nice defender Maxime Le Marchand to Craven Cottage.

The 28 year-old, who can play in the centre of defence or at left back, enjoyed an excellent season alongside new Fulham signing Jean Michael Seri at Nice last year, with the French side missing out on European qualification by just a single point. Le Marchand, who made 81 appearances for Nice after spending five years with Le Harve, enjoyed three successful seasons with Nice, who finished third and fourth in Ligue 1 in previous years.

Le Marchand, who has heavily linked with a move to a number of Italian clubs this summer, told Fulham’s official website:

I’m very happy to sign for Fulham, this is a big club that’s very popular. I’m also happy to have joined up with a good friend, Jean Michaël Seri. I know that there is a lot of hard work ahead and I hope to bring my very best to this team.

Fulham’s vice chairman and head of football operations, Tony Khan, added:

I’m very pleased that we’ve agreed to a transfer for defender Maxime Le Marchand from Nice. Strengthening our squad is always a priority. In that spirit, we’ve done a lot of work on Maxime and believe that his skills and versatility will be valuable assets.

The deal for Le Marchand remains dependent on Premier League, Football Association, and international clearance, although this is expected to be a formality.

Seri signs for Fulham

Fulham have confirmed the audacious capture of Nice midfielder Jean Michael Seri from Nice this morning.

The highly-rated midfielder, who had been chased by a whole host of European clubs over the course of the summer, has signed a four-year contract with the Premier League new boys, with Fulham holding an option for an additional year. The Ivorian international  made 189 first-team appearances in three years with Nice, scoring fourteen goals, and was named in the 2017 Ligue 1 team of the year.

Seri told Fulham’s official website:

It was a long day yesterday so it was great to get the move finalised. Now, I’m ready to get started and looking forward to meeting the squad and getting to know them, the Head Coach and his staff better. I’m delighted to be here, it’s a new adventure that starts for me and I’m hoping it will all go well.

Fulham’s vice-chairman and head of football operations Tony Khan said:

I’m delighted to announce that Fulham Football Club has signed midfielder Jean Michaël Seri from Nice. Jean Michaël arrives with Premier League qualities as well as great promise for the future, which is why he has been at the very top of our target list for a long time.

So, this is a big day for everyone associated with Fulham and working at Motspur Park, and I trust all Fulham supporters are collectively as thrilled and ecstatic as we are that Jean Michaël will be joining our squad as we return home to the Premier League.

The 26 year-old midfielder, who reportedly becomes Fulham’s highest earner, is the club’s first signing since they clinched promotion to the Premier League in May. Seri had been on the radar of a number of leading English sides, including Chelsea, and his choice of Fulham represents something of a coup for the Cottagers. The deal is still subject to international clearance and Seri receiving a work permit from the Home Office.

Fulham are also believed to be close to completing a deal to bring his former Nice team-mate, defender Maxime Le Marchand to Craven Cottage as well.

Seri in London for transfer talks

Jean-Michael Seri is in London for talks over his proposed transfer from Nice, according to reports in the English press tonight.

Weekend press reports suggested Fulham had made an audacious move to try and hijack Chelsea’s rumoured deal for the Ivory Coast midfielder, which appears in jeopardy owing to the uncertainty over the Blues’ managerial situation. French reports claim that Seri has been spotted in London with the Whites, Chelsea and Arsenal also believed to be keen on striking a deal for his services. Seri was excused from Nice’s pre-season tour today in order to arrange his expected exit from the club.

The 26 year-old midfielder, who came close to joining Barcelona last summer, is believed to have a £35m release clause in his contract which expires next weekend. Seri has previously suggested he would be keen on a move to England and Fulham’s interest would certainly kickstart their summer recruitment as they prepare to return to the Premier League next month after a four year absence.

Seri, who was named in the 2017 Ligue 1 team of the year, has made 189 first-team appearances for Nice, scoring fourteen goals. He has won eighteen senior international caps for the Ivory Coast – finding the net on one occasion. Slavisa Jokanovic is keen to bring in top flight talent but signing Seri would be akin to the coup that Jean Tigana pulled off in tempting Edwin van der Sar to Craven Cottage after Fulham won promotion in 2001.

Fulham move for Seri

Fulham have joined the race to sign Nice midfielder Jean Michael Seri, according to a Sky Sports report this morning.

The Ivorian star, who almost joined Barcelona last summer, is being courted by a number of leading European clubs and is rumoured to have a £35m release clause that expires on July 15. The Whites face stiff competition to pull off what would be a huge transfer, with the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City, Napoli, West Ham and Arsenal all heavily interested in signing the 26 year-old, who has recently entered the final year of his current Nice deal. The player himself has reportedly indicated that he would be very interested in moving to England to play in the Premier League after four years in France.

Seri, who was named in the 2017 Ligue 1 team of the year, has made 189 first-team appearances for Nice, scoring fourteen goals. He has won eighteen senior international caps for the Ivory Coast – finding the net on one occasion. Fulham are eager to bring in midfield reinforcements ahead of their return to the Premier League next month, but signing a player of the calibre of Seri would be a massive statement of intent from the Cottagers. He had been expected to be of Chelsea’s main summer transfer targets, but the Blues’ recruitment is being held up by the uncertainty over who might succeed Antonio Conte at Stamford Bridge.