Fulham have announced the signing of OGC Nice midfielder Jean Seri, despite the player’s links to FC Barcelona, Chelsea and Arsenal in the last year.

Fulham confirmed the deal on their club website on Thursday morning, writing that Seri has signed a four-year deal to play for the London club. They also have an option to extend for a further year, so at 26 years old Seri could well spend the peak years of his career with his new team.

Anyone who’s been following Arsenal’s recent transfer windows closely would’ve seen the links to Seri regularly. Those links never progressed into anything more though, and despite plenty of chances for the club to make a move, they always seemed more interested in other targets.

In fact, Barcelona came closer to signing the player last summer. Raul Sanllehi reportedly formed a close relationship with Seri, and almost concluded a deal, before the higher ups at the club decided to pull out.

The timing of Fulham’s move suggests they decided to pay the player’s release clause. Seri had a €40m clause in his Nice contract every summer, but it was only valid until 15th July. After that the clause expired, and Nice would have full control over negotiations. In all honesty, Arsenal didn’t have €40m to spare on another midfielder.