Nice star Jean Michael Seri is reportedly set to sign for Barcelona in a £36 million deal.
That's according to multiple sources, including the Guardian's Ed Aarons and Lluis Miguelsanz of Sport, who noted £36 million is roughly the value of his release clause. Per Aarons, the deal could be announced this week.
Seri has been linked with the Catalans since Neymar moved to Paris Saint-Germain for nearly £200 million earlier this summer. He is seen as an alternative to Marco Verratti, who would be much more expensive.
Club legend Xavi has already given his blessing on the move in an interview with Eurosport (h/t Goal), saying:
"When I was told that a Nice player was nicknamed the 'African Xavi,' I followed him very closely.
"I watched matches and a ton of videos. I didn't know him...and I was spellbound: I'm not used to seeing such a talent in midfield. Short passing, long passing, tactical intelligence, distance shooting, personality, organising play, that last magic pass...'madre mia!'
"He would do very well at Barca! He can play anywhere in the middle. Seri is fantastic. I can say, without hesitation, that he has what we call 'Barca DNA'."
Per Aarons, Nice would prefer to keep the 26-year-old until after their match against Napoli on Tuesday, with Seri expected to play a key role in their bid to qualify for the UEFA Champions League.
Here's a look at some of his highlights:
After two dreadful showings against Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup, Barcelona need to send a positive signal to their fans before the La Liga campaign hits its stride.
Presenting Seri at some point this week―which would be possible, per the report―would accomplish that and leave the Blaugrana with plenty more cash to make moves.