Nice midfielder Jean-Michael Seri linked to Manchester United again but his future could lie elsewhere

Jean-Michael Seri has been given the green light to leave French club Nice this summer. Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, and Arsenal have all held talks with the player’s representative according to reports with United last being linked to the player with Manchester City also in contention for the player’s signature. United manager Jose Mourinho will need to replace Michael Carrick in his squad this summer after the player retired after the final Premier League match of the season, embarking a new career as a coach at the club.

It is also expected that Marouane Fellaini will leave the Old Trafford club this summer on the expiration of his contract, with reporting linking him to AC Milan, although his wage demands could see the Italian club walk away from any potential deal. If this happens, Mourinho will need to bring in two new midfielders, unless he has a plan to promote from within this summer. United have been linked with Fred, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, Jorginho, Seri and others already over the past few months.

The 26-year-old Ivory Coast midfielder would command a fee of around £40 million this summer. Last summer he was a target for Barcelona but the move broke down, with was something both the player and his club were not happy about. During the past week, Arsenal emerged as a potential destination for the player, but the French club will be seeking to attract interest from more than one club, which in turn could maximise the potential fee for the player. Nice president Jean-Pierre Rivere, reported by The Mirror, has said:

“We are here to help players to improve, that is the case with him.

“Mika Seri is in the same category. A very good player who has brought a lot to the club and can legitimately have that desire to go and play abroad.”

Rivere also confirmed that Barcelona counterpart, Josep Maria Bartomeu contacted him to apologise for the breakdown of Seri’s move to the Catalan club, which seems to be something both the club and the player wanted to happen. However, Seri managed to remain in Nice this season where he made 43 appearances for the club, scoring two goals and a further six assists. Speaking to Canal + and reported by The Mirror, Rivere said:

“Julien Fournier, the general manager, called me early on Wednesday [August 23, 2017], at about 9am and said: ‘Jean-Pierre, I do not understand, I received a call from Barcelona and they told me to stop the Seri transfer’.

“In the afternoon, Bartomeu called me, a little embarrassed, and said to me: ‘This is the first time that it has happened to us. Our staff have decided not to sign Seri, but it is not a financial issue’.”

Seri is a decent player but is not a player who has been linked to United is about four months with players such as Fred, Milinkovic-Savic and even Jorginho being linked to the Old Trafford club. The latter though seems to be a hard target for Premier League champions Manchester City. United will probably be in advanced stages for find the players they need this summer with the FIFA World Cup commencing in the next three weeks plus the early closure of the summer transfer window, deals may need to be concluded quickly.

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.

Manchester United making a push to sign Jean-Michael Seri this month or in the summer – reports

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has been linked to Nice midfielder Jean-Michael Seri in the last few weeks but now reports are beginning to circulate which suggests the Portuguese manager is readying a swoop for the Ivory Coast midfielder either before the January transfer window closes next week or in the summer. The reports, carried by The Sun, suggest Mourinho is pushing the hardest to land the Ivorian, who has also attracted the interest of Liverpool, Chelsea, and Manchester City.

It is thought that City favour a move for Brazilian midfielder, Fred, who currently plays for Shakhtar Donetsk. Seri, a player who saw a move to Barcelona collapse in the summer, is available for a cut-price fee, a £35 million release clause, which offers a lot of value in the current market. No doubt, if a move from United happens, the media will state United are trying to burst the seams of the world of football and you will be reading endless stories about the player’s price, wage, images rights and everything else. It is like only one club pays all this money, when all will to some extent.

It has been suggested that United would sign two to three players in the summer, with Mourinho stating that if a player came in this month, it would reduce the number of signings this summer. United announced Alexis Sanchez as the club’s new number seven on Monday, so that will mean fewer signings in the summer if the Portuguese manager is to be believed. United could lose two experienced midfielders this summer with Michael Carrick expected to join the clubs coaching staff and Marouane Fellaini leaving the club on the expiry of his contract.

That will mean Mourinho will need to replace at least one of these players, if not both. He will be left with Paul Pogba, Ander Herrera, Nemanja Matic, and Scott McTominay. He could bring in one player from outside and promote another from the Academy, which would give United six midfielders and a mix of experience and raw talent, which is what United have done for decades now. Seri is a player who could do well for United, bringing more experience to the club and helping fortify the midfield, which has been a problem this season due to injury and suspension.

I would not expect United to sign another player this month, but it is not something I can rule out either. The fact that the player is available for £35 million, a bargain in this day and age, would suggest it could be a mistake if a deal was not done, if the reports are true, obviously. Mourinho will have a number of players on his list to fortify the midfield. He knew that Carrick would need to be replaced in the squad this summer as he was not going to continue as a player forever. He will also have known about Fellaini’s contract running out this summer.

United have recently been linked to Mateo Kovacic and Seri, two players who could do wonders at the club if Mourinho has seen something in their abilities. Seri would be a better option and being a compatriot of Eric Bailly, there could be something that could help lure the player to the Theatre of Dreams. It will all come down to whether United are in a position to make a move and whether they will be forced into pouncing sooner rather than later. With City seemingly out of the race for Seri, and both Liverpool and Chelsea still linked

With City seemingly out of the race for Seri, and both Liverpool and Chelsea still linked, this could be left until the summer, unless either team make a move for the player this month. United would benefit from moving for the player now if he is the missing piece of the jigsaw, which would strengthen the midfield immediately and see the player settle in before next season. Seri did play in the qualification round and play-offs of the UEFA Champions League earlier this season, losing and falling into the Europa League – he would be eligible to play for United in the competition.

Manchester United leading the way to sign Jean-Michael Seri – reports

Manchester United are reportedly leading a four Premier League team chase for Nice midfielder Jean-Michael Seri, according to The Mirror. Ivory Coast midfielder, Seri is attracting attention from United, Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea and a deal could be done for around £35 million, which is the player’s current release clause at the club, €40 million. Seri was linked to Barcelona in the summer and a move to the Nou Camp seemed certain at the time, but it fell through. Paris-Saint-Germain were also interested, but they were limited by Financial Fair Play regulations.

The 26-year-old midfielder has around 18-months left to run on his current contract, which includes the relatively cheap release clause, which could cause a scramble for the players signature. The report suggests that the player seemingly has his heart set on a move to the Premier League, which would rule of PSG if they were able to challenge for the player if finances are sorted as they still have to pay for Kylian Mbappe this summer.

United will be looking to replace Michael Carrick in the summer, the player signed a new one-year deal at the start of the season but has not played many matches due to a health condition, of which he has recovered from and is training with his teammates. Liverpool may look to replace Emre Can, who has been linked to Juventus, not to mention Jordan Henderson’s injury-plagued few seasons despite Naby Keita coming to Anfield in the summer. Chelsea have problems with Tiemoue Bakayoko failing to shine whilst City may need to replace Yaya Toure not to mention Fernandinho.

This season for Nice, Seri has played 21 times, starting 20 matches and coming off the bench once. He has scored once in Ligue 1, also assisting five goals, four in Ligue 1, one in the UEFA Europa League. The player has had 21 shots on goal in all competitions, six of those being on target. Further to those stats, Seri averages a passing success rate of 91%, a shot accuracy of 67%, has created 35 chances for his teammates, averages at least 18 metres when passing, also averaging at least one defensive action per match – making two defensive errors this season.

The midfield is a problem for United as during the first half of this season alone, Michael Carrick, Paul Pogba and Marouane Fellaini were all injured at the same time, leaving Ander Herrera, Nemanja Matic and Scott McTominay. Pogba has also been suspended, which left United’s midfield with a lack of inspiration. The over reliance on Matic will become a key factor too if the manager allows it. Recruiting a new midfielder now or in the summer is something United will need to do which could help United unlock Pogba’s potential even more than it has been already.

There will, no doubt, be a long list of candidates Mourinho and his team of coaches and scouts have been looking at. United do not need to panic buy a midfielder, they need to get the recruitment right. Over the past few seasons, United have brought in Bastian Schweinsteiger and Morgan Schneiderlin, both are no longer at the club. Ensuring the club does not bring in a player who will fail at the club is important. Over the past few months United have been credited as having an interest in a few midfielders, that should progress as we head towards the summer.

copyright: JW