Barcelona have reportedly set their sights on Jean Michael Seri as a summer alternative to Marco Verratti.

Spanish publication Mundo Deportivo have reported that Barcelona have started laying the contingency plans if they fail to land Marco Verratti. The Catalan giants are now eyeing OGC Nice midfielder Jean Michael Seri for a move in the summer transfer window.

Seri’s career has taken off ever since he made the move to Nice from Portuguese club Pacos de Ferreira in 2015. Now in his second season in Ligue 1, the 25-year-old has truly been a revelation at the heart of midfield for the French club as they look set to clinch a place in the Champions League next season.

Nice sit third in the Ligue 1 table having played some inspiring football all season and Seri has been one of the most instrumental figures in the campaign for the club. The Ivorian has played 36 matches in all competitions for his side, being a solid presence in the centre of the park and has also chipped in with 6 goals and 9 assists.

Set for a move to Barcelona? (Photo courtesy - Yann Coatsaliou/AFP/Getty Images)

Set for a move to Barcelona? (Photo courtesy – Yann Coatsaliou/AFP/Getty Images)

Seri turned in one of his best performances of the season last weekend as Nice beat PSG 3-1 in convincing fashion to sit just three points adrift of the French champions. And he has managed to catch the attention of one of the most prominent clubs in Europe.

Barcelona are interested in signing the Ivory Coast international in the summer, having monitored him on several occasions this season. The Catalan club’s technical director Robert Fernandez is planning a major squad overhaul that will kick off at the end of the season, and central midfield is believed to be one of the priority positions.

As a result, Barcelona have been scouting several viable options in recent months, with Marco Verratti reported to be their top target. However, the Mundo Deportivo report suggests they have been put off by his enormous price tag, which will restrict them in pursuit of their other summer targets.

They have, thus, turned their attention towards Seri as an alternative to Verratti. The 25-year-old is only just starting to come into his own, and his qualities on the ball make him the ideal foil to Sergio Busquets and Andres Iniesta at the heart of the Barcelona midfield.

The likes of Borussia Dortmund, PSG and Southampton are also said to be monitoring Seri, but the player is admittedly a Barcelona fan, which hands them the advantage in the race to sign him. Nice, however, are unwilling to let go of their prized asset, and it remains to be seen if Barcelona can persuade the club to sell Seri in the summer.

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