Xavi urges Barcelona to sign “fantastic” Jean-Michael Seri before price doubles

Xavi urges Barcelona to sign “fantastic” Jean-Michael Seri before price doubles

Barcelona legend Xavi believes Nice midfielder Jean Seri would be perfect for his former club because he has “Barça DNA”.

The 25-year-old Ivory Coast international has seen his profile raised after enjoying a strong campaign with the Ligue 1 outfit last season.

In the process he’s attracted the attention of a host of clubs – such as Roma, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Barcelona – and has drawn comparisons with four-time European Cup winner Xavi, who has become one of his biggest admirers.

“When I was told that a player from Nice was called the ‘African Xavi’, I followed him very closely, inevitably,” he told Le Parisien.

“I did not know him and I was stunned: I haven’t seen such midfield talent for a while. [His] short game, long game, tactical intelligence, distance shooting, personality, game organisation…wow! He would go so well at Barça … He can play anywhere in the middle. Seri is fantastic. He has what is called Barcelona’s Barça DNA. Without any hesitation.”

And when the celebrated Spanish midfielder was told Seri uses him as a reference, often watching videos of him before matches, he couldn’t contain his pride.

“Seriously? It is an honour ! I hope Barça sign him [this summer] because otherwise he will be worth double next year.”

The lowdown: Seri in numbers

Jean-Michael Seri was Nice’s leading chance creator in Ligue 1 last season

Seri’s present contract expires in June 2019 and if he’s to leave this summer Nice are demanding his release clause of £35m be met.

Ever-present last season, Seri only missed four league matches for Lucien Favre’s side, with two of those as a result of representing his country at this year’s African Cup of Nations.

Nominally a central midfielder, he registered six goals as well as creating a further nine, whilst averaging a pass accuracy of 90% after producing 79.9 passes per game.

A departure would come as a blow for Nice, who are aiming to reach this season’s Champions League group stage, but face Italian powerhouse Napoli in the play-off round.