Manchester City to rival Manchester United for Jean-Michael Seri – reports

Manchester United will go head to head with Manchester City to sign Nice midfielder Jean-Michael Seri this month according to David McDonnell of The Mirror. United were named as one of the four Premier League clubs interested in the Ivory Coast international in the last few weeks with City, Liverpool, and Chelsea as the other teams. It was suggested that City were out of the race as they seem to be looking at Fred of Shakhtar Donetsk, but they will need to replace Yaya Toure and find a permanent replacement for Fernandinho between now and the summer.

United will need to replace club captain Michael Carrick, who is rumoured to be hanging up his boots this summer and Marouane Fellaini, whose contract at the Old Trafford club will expire this summer, with suggestions that the Belgian midfielder has rejected a deal which was offered to him last year. I am sure Mourinho will have other options as it would be the right thing to do if players did not want the move of decided to go elsewhere. Seri does seem to be a player who would fit into the Premier League, especially at United.

The January transfer window will close on Wednesday 31st January 2018 at 23:00 GMT, giving United or City a week to get the transfer across the line if the reports are true. Seri has a release clause which could see him leave the French club for just £35 million, a bargain in this day and age, with transfer fees reaching high amounts for top players. Seri is 26 and therefore experienced. He was set to sign for Barcelona last summer but the proposed move was not completed, so that should tell you about his talents as Barca do need midfielders and good ones at that.

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United manager Jose Mourinho will be confident of landing Seri ahead of rival Pep Guardiola, especially after beating the Spaniard to the signature of Alexis Sanchez earlier this week. That does not suggest Seri will be heading to Old Trafford rather than the Etihad though, but with United seemingly needing midfield talent more than City, I do hope United get this deal over the line. It is a straightforward release clause, so presumably, both clubs, if they are interested in Seri, will offer to pay that clause and the decision will be down to the player.

The report does state that both United and City are prepared to offer the money to release the player from his contract in Nice with representatives of Seri flying to Manchester to propose personal terms with the team the player would choose to sign. After losing out to United for Sanchez, City will not be happy if they miss out on a target to United again. Imagine what the media will say to defend City – Seri would have chosen money over success, despite the fact City have won nothing yet under Guardiola and have paid fortunes for players in the past and will continue to do so.

Seri is a player with bags of talent and whether he moves to City, United, or even remains in Nice, he will be a player who will continue to be watched by other teams as they look for options to strengthen ahead of each transfer window. United have recently been linked to Mateo Kovacic of Real Madrid and seemingly still have a long-term interest in Valencia midfielder Carlos Soler. I trust Mourinho to do what he does best. Every club will miss out on transfer targets, it is a part of life. United have recovered from doing so in the past and will do so in the future.

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