Nice general manager Julien Fournier expects Jean Michaël Seri to continue at the Ligue 1 side until the end of the season despite recent reports claiming that the midfielder is set to join Barcelona.
The 26-year-old has attracted the attention of a number of European clubs after proving to be one of the sensations of the French top flight during the 2016-2017 season, scoring six goals and providing nine assists to help Nice to finish third in the table.
Reports in Spain over the weekend claimed that Barcelona were ready to activate his €40m (£36.6m, $47m) release clause in order to trump competition from the likes of Arsenal and Liverpool to complete his signing.
It was said that Seri had also agreed personal terms with Barcelona to become Ernesto Valverde's fifth signing of the summer – following in the footsteps of Marlon Santos, Gerard Deulofeu, Nelson Semedo and Paulinho.
However, L'Equipe threw the deal into question after reporting that Nice plan to demand more money to cash in on the talented midfielder as the aforementioned €40m release clause expired on 15 July.
Spanish Radio Station Cadena Ser later denied that information, claiming that sources from Nice had confirmed them that Seri's €40m release clause remains, and that Barcelona could thus complete his signing if they trigger that fee.
But Nice general manager Fournier has now added another chapter to the saga after claiming that the club eventually expect Seri to stay at the Ligue 1 until the end of the season.
"We haven't negotiated with Barça nor do I know of any negotiations lined up in the next few days. They're just rumours, so we haven't set a price for Seri," Fournier said to Sport when asked whether whether L'Équipe was right when claimed that they are now asking more than €40m to part ways with Seri.
"I think the player will stay with us this season. It's true that he is open to listening to offers but he's also happy at Nice whether we qualify for the group stages of the Champions League or not."
Meanwhile, Seri himself also failed to shed light on the situation on weekend after claiming that he was unaware about his potential move to Barcelona.
"I am not in touch with anyone. I don't know anything," Seri told ESPN after his side's clash with Guingamp. "We must wait and see what happens; at the moment I am a Nice player and we will see what happens later."