Barcelona have reportedly turned their attention back to Jean Michael Seri, joining Arsenal in pursuit of the OGC Nice midfielder.
According to Spanish publication Don Balon, Barcelona are set to end their interest in Paulinho and turn their attention towards pursuing a move for Jean Michael Seri. The OGC Nice midfielder is also being tailed by Arsenal.
Seri has enjoyed a sensational rise to prominence over the last twelve months after playing a key role to help Nice to a shock Top 3 finish in Ligue 1 in the 2016/17 season. The campaign has put the French Riviera club on the cusp of qualifying for the Champions League for the very first time.
A mainstay in midfield for his side, Seri turned in an impressive return of 7 goals and 9 assists in 34 Ligue 1 appearances this past season. And his strong performances have helped him attract interest from some of the most prominent names in European football, including Arsenal and now, Barcelona.
Barcelona have contacted Seri’s officials and are aware about the release clause of 40m€ in his contracts.Player dreams of playing for FCB pic.twitter.com/5rcbwSdRtV
— Don Draper (@arsenalbarclays) August 7, 2017
At Arsenal, Arsene Wenger is keen on adding a central midfielder to his squad with little to choose from beyond the regular pairing of Granit Xhaka and Aaron Ramsey.
While Mohamed Elneny and Francis Coquelin are seen as squad players, Santi Cazorla and Jack Wilshere are likely to be sidelined for large parts of the campaign as they recover from their respective injuries.
Thus, Seri has emerged as a viable target for Arsenal this summer, with his work rate and passing abilities an ideal foil for Xhaka at the heart of midfield. The Gunners, though, face stiff competition from Barcelona in pursuit of the Ivorian.
The Catalan club are aiming to move on from the failure of the 2016/17 season. But they have endured a disappointing time in the current transfer window to make preparations for the oncoming season, having failed to land any of their primary targets thus far.
— Messi |FC Barcelona| (@10MyS) August 2, 2017
Midfield is reported to be Ernesto Valverde’s priority this summer, but his pursuit of Marco Verratti turned out to be an abject failure. The Blaugrana had subsequently turned their attention towards seeking a move for Paulinho and now Seri.
And Barcelona could have a decisive advantage during negotiations as Seri is admittedly a fan of the club. On top of that, the Catalans can offer the 26-year-old the prospect of playing Champions League football, something that Arsenal can’t as they are set to play in Europa League next season.
However, recent reports have suggested that Seri will take a call on the next step of his career on the basis of Nice’s ability to land a spot in the Champions League group stage. It now remains to be seen if the player makes a move to either club or continues with Nice beyond the summer.