Nice president Jean-Pierre Rivere revealed he received a phone call from Barcelona counterpart Josep Maria Bartomeu, who expressed his embarrassment after the LaLiga giants pulled out of a deal for Jean-Michael Seri.
Ivory coast international Seri appeared set for a €40million move to Camp Nou until the proposed transfer suddenly broke down.
Seri, 26, criticised the Ligue 1 side over the collapsed deal before the transfer window closed, however, Rivere insisted it was Barca who pulled the plug.
“Julien Fournier, the general manager of [Nice], called me early on Wednesday [August 23], at about 09:00 and said: ‘Jean-Pierre, I do not understand, I received a call from Barcelona and they told me to stop the Seri transfer’,” Rivere recalled on Canal+.
“In the afternoon, Bartomeu called me, a little embarrassed, and said to me: ‘This is the first time that it has happened to us. Our staff have decided not to sign Seri, but it is not a financial issue’.”
Rivere added: “I put myself in his [Seri’s] shoes; it was his dream to go to Barcelona and then it was broken. It was all up in the air.”