Barcelona are poised to trigger the £36million (€40m) release clause of Nice midfielder Jean Michael Seri, with the aim of having the Ivorian at the Nou Camp by early next week.
The Spanish giants are seeking reinforcements to their midfield ahead of a busy 2017-18 campaign.
Barca are still reeling from the loss of Neymar, yet have heavily inflated coffers with which to delve into the transfer market and add quality to their squad before the window slams shut in two week’s time.
Seri was a stand-out player in Ligue 1 last season and was an instrumental part of Nice’s Champions League qualification finish.
The 26-year-old is seen as a deeper lying midfielder and, contrary to some reports, is not believed to be an alternative signing to Philippe Coutinho.Barca are desperate to add Liverpool’s star man to their ranks, despite having recently seen a third bid swiftly rejected by the Merseyside club.
A fresh bid worth in the region of €125m was presented to Liverpool, but the club’s hierarchy refused to back down on their stance.
Spanish publication Mundo Deportivo report the imminent arrival of Seri ‘in no case dismisses the arrival of Coutinho.
‘On the contrary, they are considered complementary players, since they are different players, and the intention of the club is to have both in the squad.’
Barca return to action on Sunday night following their humiliating Spanish Super Cup defeat to rivals Real Madrid.The Catalan side will host Real Betis at the Nou Camp, in a game in which players will have ‘Barcelona’ on the back of their shirts, as opposed to their own name.
The gesture is to pay tribute to the victims of the recent terror attack in the city, which claimed the lives of 14 people and left scores more seriously injured.