Catherine Ivill – AMA/Getty Images
Barcelona are reportedly set to reignite their pursuit of Nice midfielder Jean Michael Seri in January.
According to Sport, sources in the club have confirmed they may yet snap him up in the winter after a deal in the summer fell through, and the player is still said to be receptive to a transfer as it is “his dream” to move to the Camp Nou.
The Guardian‘s Ed Aarons detailed what happened when Barca pursued Seri during the transfer window:
Ed Aarons @ed_aarons
Nice have upped their asking price for Jean #Seri to €50m and insist €40m clause is no longer valid. Barcelona looking elsewhere for now
Despite failing to sign him the team have made a strong start to the season with three wins from three matches in La Liga, and they gained a modicum of revenge on Juventus on Tuesday as they dispatched them 3-0 in the UEFA Champions League, having lost to them in the quarter-finals of the competition last year.
Rafael Hernandez would welcome the addition of Seri to the squad, though:
Rafael Hernández @RafaelH117
It’s not perfect by any means, a man like Seri would be doing wonders in Barça’s midfield instead of Rakitic, but progress is noticeable.
Indeed, the midfielder would be well-suited to life at Barcelona.
According to Squawka, in just three Ligue 1 appearances this season, Seri has already created 13 chances and attempted 292 passes, 90 per cent of which he has completed successfully.
He has also shown a glimpse of his dribbling skills, having completed eight of his 10 attempted take-ons.
WhoScored.com further illustrated his impressive creativity:
Jean Michael Seri: Only Ryad Boudebouz (68) has made more key passes from open play than Seri (58) in Ligue 1 since August 2016 https://t.co/u0JsS6RqqM
The team are in desperate need of more quality in midfield, and Seri could undoubtedly provide that. If they can secure his signature in January, it would provide a significant boost to their prospects for the second half of the season.
Meanwhile, L’Equipe (h/t Sport) reported how close Barcelona came to signing Angel Di Maria from Paris Saint-Germain, with the two clubs ultimately €10 million apart in their valuation.
PSG are said to have demanded €60 million, while Barcelona’s final offer comprised of €45 million with a further €5 million in add-ons.
Hernandez was relieved the club did not meet PSG’s asking price:
Rafael Hernández @RafaelH117
Buying Di Maria would be universally considered one of the stupidest moves Barcelona could possibly make this window. Awful.
After recruiting Ousmane Dembele to replace Neymar another winger would have been somewhat unnecessary, and the 29-year-old hasn’t hit the heights he did at Real Madrid since departing Los Blancos in 2014.
That said, he is still a supremely creative player at a similar level to Barca’s best, per Squawka Football:
Squawka Football @Squawka
Most assists in Europe’s top 5 leagues since 2013/14:
Luis Suarez (55)
Lionel Messi (54)
Kevin De Bruyne (54)
Angel Di Maria (53)
Close. 👀 https://t.co/vL2dkvMOsZ
Barcelona sorely need to strengthen further back, though, so Di Maria’s capture wouldn’t have addressed the holes in their team.
The €60 million saved in not purchasing him can be much better spent elsewhere, such as on Seri for example.