Fulham have beaten off competition from several European clubs to sign the Nice and Ivory Coast midfielder Jean Michaël Seri for a club-record fee in the region of £25m, on an initial four-year contract.
The deal represents a significant coup for Slavisa Jokanovic, the Fulham head coach, given Chelsea, West Ham United, Borussia Dortmund and Napoli, among others, were also credited with an interest in the 26-year-old. But, Fulham moved quickly to make Seri their maiden summer signing following promotion to the Premier League.
Jean Michaël Seri has 18 international caps, scored 12 goals in 103 appearances for the Ligue 1 side.
Fulham have the option to extend his contract, which runs to 2022, by a further year.
“I’m delighted to be here, it’s a new adventure that starts for me and I’m hoping it will all go well,” said Seri.
Fulham said they beat a “host of top European sides” to signing Seri, who was reportedly coveted by neighbours Chelsea, among others.
Seri added: “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 director of football Tony Khan said: “Jean-Michael 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-Michael will be joining our squad as we return home to the Premier League!”
Seri began his career playing domestic football in the Ivory Coast, before a loan spell with Porto’s B team and a subsequent spell with Pacos de Ferreira in Portugal’s Primeira Liga.
Impressing in two seasons with Pacos de Ferreira, he then signed for Nice and enhanced his reputation.
One of his 12 goals for Nice was the back-heel which knocked out Ajax and took the Ligue 1 side to the Champions League.