Nice president Jean-Pierre Rivere says Arsenal-linked midfielder Jean Michael Seri ended up staying at the French club after fellow suitors Barcelona gave up on the deal.

Speaking to French TV channel Canal+, Rivere explained that there was a deal in place for Seri to move to Barcelona, but the Catalan club pulled out at the last second. He revealed via Football.London: “We and Barcelona agreed a price of €40M for Seri.

Manchester United vs Arsenal, Thursday, 27 November 2021, kick-off 8.15pm (UK) is live on Amazon Prime [get a free 30-day Amazon prime trial here].

“But our director said to me ‘I don’t know, Barca just called. Bartomeu said that they don’t want Seri. It was a done deal. It was very tough for Seri. He was close to his dream move, but it was shattered overnight.”

For Seri, this was obviously disappointing, but for Arsenal it represented an opportunity to make a bid of their own for a player they could greatly benefit from given their midfield woes this season.

Granit Xhaka and Aaron Ramsey seem more than capable of working together when their opponents concede possession and don’t offer any real threat. But as soon as the Gunners come up against a side that is willing and able to hit them on the counter, the pairing becomes a lot more fragile.

Ramsey doesn’t offer any support to Xhaka in deeper areas of the pitch, preferring to get forward and join the attack, meaning the 24-year-old has to play his way out of defence with nobody to help him do so.

This has resulted in a few examples of the ball being given away and Arsenal conceding goals. Whether Seri could’ve solved this problem is debatable, but we won’t know for sure as Arsenal seemingly decided not to reach Barcelona’s bid after the Spanish giants withdrew their interest.