Xavi has gone and tarnished Jean Michael Seri’s good name by saying that the Nice midfielder has ‘Barca DNA’.

Barcelona are being heavily linked with alleged Arsenal target, Seri, and now Xavi has publicly heaped praise onto the Nice forward, claiming that he has ‘Barca DNA’.

“When I was told that a Nice player was nicknamed the ‘African Xavi’, I followed him very closely,” the midfielder, reports Bleacher Report.

“I watched matches and a ton of videos. I didn’t know him… and I was spellbound: I’m not used to seeing such a talent in midfield. Short passing, long passing, tactical intelligence, distance shooting, personality, organising play, that last magic pass… ‘madre mia!’

“He would do very well at Barca! He can play anywhere in the middle. Seri is fantastic. I can say, without hesitation, that he has what we call ‘Barca DNA’.

The phrase ‘Barca DNA’ has been rolled out in the past more than once and it’s usually because the Catalan club want something or someone.

(ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/Getty Images)

Xavi’s comment comes the week after Seri himself confirmed that there was interest from other clubs but he would only leave Ligue 1 for regular, first-team football.

“There are a lot of clubs that follow me. But there is nothing done,” the Ivorian said.

“If I leave, it will be to join a club where there is a real desire to play football as in Nice.

“And I’m not going to be on the bench, I’m leaving only if I know I’m going to play.”

Recent reports also claimed that Barca aren’t willing to meet the 26-year-old’s £36m release clause, leaving Arsenal allegedly in pole position to sign him.

If this is true, perhaps Xavi’s comments are designed to entice Seri, encouraging him to force a move and Nice to reduce his asking price. Who knows with Barcelona. Remember earlier in the summer when they wanted Hector Bellerin but Arsene Wenger was demanding £44m for the 22-year-old, so the La Liga giants started talking him up, and then put him down once the Gunners reportedly sent them a letter?

You never know. Although obviously this is just speculation on my part.

Seri, who has been tipped to replace Santi Cazorla if he does move to north London, made 39 appearances for Nice last season, scoring seven goals and assisting nine.

He only has two years left on his current deal in France.