Manchester City are understood to be considering a move for Ivorian international Jean Michael Seri, having grown frustrated at Napoli‘s unwillingness to negotiate over their £60m valuation of Jorginho.
Seri, who plays his club football for Nice in France’s Ligue 1, is available for £36m and is already attracting interest from other Premier League clubs in Arsenal and West Ham.
With Napoli holding firm on their valuation of their Italian midfielder, manager Pep Guardiola is understood to be seriously considering Seri as a cheaper alternative.
Guardiola had originally pinpointed Brazilian-born Jorginho as a replacement for Yaya Toure when City played Napoli in the Champions League last season.
Manchester City originally tabled a £50m offer for the player – after deciding the asking price by Shakhtar Donetsk for Brazilian Fred was too expensive – but saw their bid knocked back by Napoli’s unwavering president Aurelio De Laurentiis.
De Laurentiis then told City not to return unless they were willing to meet his £60m valuation in full, despite the player’s expressed desire to move to the Etihad.
This season, Jorginho has played 39 games in all competitions – 33 of those coming in Serie A – scoring four goals and providing four assists.
Seri, meanwhile, has played 43 games across all competitions – with 31 of those being in Ligue 1 – and recorded two goals and ten assists.
The diminutive Seri joined Nice in July 2015 from Portuguese side Pacos Ferreira in a deal worth just £900k and can play naturally as both a central and defensive midfielder.
He has since played 101 league games for Nice, netting 11 times. Seri made his senior international debut in September 2015, and has since earned 18 caps and scored one international goal.