Barcelona have reportedly told Jean Michael Seri to put all other proposals on hold and wait for them to make an offer. Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Swansea, Paris Saint-Germain and AS Roma have all been linked with the midfielder this summer, but Catalan publication Sport claims that the player has set his sights on the Nou Camp.
Seri, 26, has become one of the most sought-after players in his position after proving a sensation in Ligue 1 last season. The talented midfielder netted six goals and provided nine assists to help Nice to finish third in the table, winning the Marc Vivien Foe award for the best African player in the French League.
Earlier in May The Guardian reported that both Arsenal and Tottenham were closely monitoring his situation ahead of making during the summer transfer window.
Barcelona were also linked with his services at the time and the player suggested that he approved.
"If Barca come to sign you, you can't say no. No way," Seri said during an interview with Mundo Deportivo. "I have supported Barça since I was a child, when I was still in my native country, in Ivory Coast. I was always a big cule [Barcelona fan} and those who know me know it well. Then, when I moved to Portugal, I had the chance to follow their games closely."
At that time Seri was said to be Barcelona's back-up option to bolster the midfield if they failed to sign Marco Verratti. However, the Catalans transfer plans have changed dramatically since losing Neymar to PSG.
Barcelona have been forced to focus their attention in bolstering the attack to find a proper replacement for the Brazilian ace – with Liverpool star Coutinho and Borussia Dortmund winger Ousmane Dembele having been already identified as their top priorities.
As a result, the Catalans have cooled the interest in Seri in recent weeks while the player has seen his name heavily linked with the likes of Swansea, PSG, Roma and Arsenal.
Prestigious French publication L'Equipe recently reported that Arsene Wenger is a big fan of the player and is considering meeting his €40m (£36.1m, $46.9m) release clause to bring him to the Emirates Stadium.
ESPN backed those claims last week, adding that the Gunners move was dependant on whether Nice secured qualification for the Champions League proper.
However, Sport now claims Seri could finally secure his desired move to Barcelona after the Catalans sporting director Robert Fernandez recently contacted the player's brother, urging patience and waiting for them to make an offer.
Sport says that Barcelona have promised Seri a decision over his future in the coming days and "could make an offer next week" – once they complete the signings of their other priorities.
The Catalan publication insists that Seri has other offers but he is ready to wait for the Catalans as his objective is still to play for Barcelona.
Meanwhile, reports say Barcelona have not given up on signing Paulinho from Guangzhou Evergrande. Yet, the arrival of the former Tottenham flop shouldn't affect the pursuit of Seri as they have different profiles.