Barcelona have reportedly pulled the plug on their pursuit of Nice midfielder Jean Michael Seri.
According to Sport and Mundo Deportivo (h/t Football Espana), the Blaugrana will not be signing the Ivory Coast international in this transfer window. Both newspapers reported the deal fell through due to "purely sporting reasons."
As noted by Football Espana, a €40 million (£37 million) fee was said to have been agreed for Seri.
Sky Sports' Spanish football journalist Guillem Balague also stated that talks have stalled between the two clubs:
Guillem Balague @GuillemBalague
4. Seri had all agreed with Barcelona. Last night it was to be formally agreed with Nice but negotiations have broken down for now2017-8-23 09:19:51
Seri was asked whether his move to the Blaugrana was to be confirmed imminently, but he said "I have not played my last game for Nice" on Tuesday.
As relayed by the Spanish Football Podcast, it appears things have unravelled pretty quickly in the chase for the 26-year-old:
Spanish Football Pod @tsf_podcast
Lol https://t.co/a6tJhzPwhu2017-8-23 06:56:58
Spanish Football Pod @tsf_podcast
@shabeeb_mohd First one: "Seri Day", he could be announced today... half an hour later, "No to Seri", deal is off!2017-8-23 07:42:00
If Barcelona have discarded the pursuit of the playmaker, it'll be another major blow in the transfer market.
Already in this window they have lost an attacking gem in Neymar. The only two players through the door so far are Gerard Deulofeu and Paulinho; it'd be fair to say the acquisition of neither man has got pulses racing at the Camp Nou.
And even though they have recouped a world-record £200 million for Neymar, the chase for reinforcements has been a challenge.
According to James Pearce of the Liverpool Echo, Barcelona have ended their chase for Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho having had three bids rejected for the player. Sky in Germany (h/t Sport) stated the Blaugrana have also had a €130 million (£120 million) offer rejected for Borussia Dortmund's Ousmane Dembele.
Seri seemed like a potentially straightforward capture and is a player who appears to fit the Barcelona mantras, as noted by WhoScored.com:
Jean Michael Seri: Has completed 213 passes in just two Ligue 1 appearances this season. Barcelona material https://t.co/aC56WfcRag2017-8-22 11:16:37
On the ball he is so composed. Seri is content taking possession in tight spaces, astute in finding team-mates and knows how to manage the tempo of a match. Barca have lacked a midfielder in that mould since Xavi left the club in 2015.
It appears as though there have been some complications regarding the deal, though. And while Barcelona are one of the biggest clubs in world football, journalist Jonathan Johnson can see why Seri may be cautious about making a switch:
Jonathan Johnson @Jon_LeGossip
@LeahVdc Put yourself in Seri's shoes. Would you want to strap yourself into a blazing Ferrari?2017-8-23 08:55:29
Though there's still time to resurrect this deal, the clock is ticking for Barcelona, with the transfer window closing next Thursday. Not only do they need an injection of class in midfield, another forward is vital to provide support to the likes of Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.
Seri may not be a massive name in world football, but his skills would make a big difference to this Barcelona side. It'd feel like a blow for those associated with the Blaugrana if this one didn't come off.