By Danny Wright
Nice president Jean-Pierre Rivere has said that he will accept no less than £33.9million for playmaker Jean Michael Seri.
The Guardian claimed earlier this month that Tottenham had opened preliminary talks to sign the goalscoring midfielder and that £20million would have sealed the deal.
However Rivere has handed Spurs a blow in their pursuit of Seri, who will only leave the Ligue 1 club if his £33.9million release clause is met.
“Seri has a clause worth £33.9million,” said the French club’s president to RMC Sport.
“It made everyone smile when we put this clause in two years ago. At that price, he will go. Without it, we do not have the intention to sell him for the moment.
“Even if people do not take clauses seriously in France, they deserve some sort of respect. If tomorrow, a club offers the clause for Jean, he will go.”
Seri, 25, has played a huge part in Nice’s successful season in Ligue 1 as they launched a surprise title bid.
The 13-times Ivory Coast international has made 37 appearances for the Cote D’Azur outfit in all competitions, scoring six goals and supplying nine assists.
He joined Nice in 2015 from Portuguese club Pacos de Ferreira and has also had spells at Porto and Ivorian giants ASEC.
Nice are currently third in the French top-tier and are only bettered by mega-rich clubs Monaco and Paris St. Germain.
It is also understood from the Guardian that Tottenham and their North London rivals Arsenal have sent scouts to watch Seri while Barcelona and Paris St. Germain are also keeping tabs on him.
Football Insider Verdict
Seri’s stats speak for themselves and he is a very talented midfield workhorse, but it is very doubtful that he is worth the £33.9million that Rivere is demanding. It was a good call by Nice to work the release clause into his contract because they clearly saw the talent that the 25-year-old could bring to their side. Spurs are shrewd operators in the transfer market, and although that needs to change this summer, they really don’t need to splash a large sum on improving an area that is already very strong. Victor Wanyama, Mousa Dembele, Eric Dier and youngster Harry Winks are all formidable players in the centre of midfield and none of them should suffer if Seri comes in.
In other Tottenham news, Spurs are looking to cash in on the future with this £3million-a-time deal.