When Jean-Michael Seri was wanted by Barcelona in the summer, a move he had dreamed about as a kid, everyone thought that was it.
However, the move never materialised in the end, with the La Liga club never meeting the €40m ‘gentleman’s agreement’ Nice had in place with their star midfielder, meaning he’s still available to a number of Premier League clubs.
On Friday, The Guardian’s deputy sports new editor Ed Aarons reported that Arsenal, Manchester City and Everton were all after the Ivory Coast international, and while we’re sure he’d be interested in the first two, we decided to take a look at whether or not a move to Goodison Park was realistic.
On paper, probably not.
Despite a turn of form since the arrival of Sam Allardyce, the Toffees are still some way off a European football spot in the Premier League, and won’t be participating in any competitions providing it during the second half of the season.
Furthermore, logic would state that a player who came very close to signing for a club like Barcelona might not be interested in a move to a club like Everton, especially when Arsenal and Manchester City are also said to be after him.
But, and there’s an interesting thought, what if Seri did move to Goodison Park to get a nice foothold in the Premier League.
Get your move there via Everton, perform well for six months, or maybe even 18, and then move onto a ‘bigger’ club, so to speak, like the Manchester Citys or the Barcelonas.
That could be easily done, for example, via a clause that would allow him to leave for a club playing in the Champions League if Everton failed to qualify for the competition.
The report stated he’d be available for around £25m, which, while we aren’t doubting Mr Aarons’ information, seems a bit low, especially considering we’re midway through the season and he was going for £10m more than that in the summer.
Seri might not be playing at the same level as last season, but that’s not entirely down to him, with Nice struggling a lot more as a whole, especially at the beginning of the campaign.
Now undefeated in five league games, things are running a bit more smoothly, and we honestly can’t see the Ligue 1 side letting him go for anything less than the €40m previously agreed on..
Maybe that’s just us being foolish, but let’s say Everton get him for £35m, insert a £50-60m release clause in case a club with Champions League football comes knocking next summer or in 2019, and that’s an easy £15-25m profit, helping yourself out by having a talented footballer in the process for six to 18 months.
Or maybe even longer if Sam Allardyce, or should we say Allardici, continues to works his magic at Goodison Park.