Nice president Jean-Pierre Rivere has claimed Barcelona pulled out of a move for Jean Michael Seri at the last minute.
The Ivory Coast midfielder was a target for Barca during the summer window but ultimately stayed at Nice.
Barcelona have been criticised for their summer activity, with former presidential candidate Agusti Benedito launching a vote of no confidence against the club’s board.
The Spanish giants lost Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain in a world-record £200m deal and failed to sign Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool, instead opting for Ousmane Dembele from Borussia Dortmund.
They brought in Paulinho from the Chinese Super League earlier in the window but Nice president Rivere has claimed they had a late change of heart over Seri.
Speaking to French TV channel Canal+, Rivere said: “The two clubs (Nice and Barcelona) had agreed a price of €40m (£36.8m), but the situation took a turn at the last moment.
“[Nice’s general director Julien Fournier called me and said] ‘Jean-Pierre, I don’t understand anything. Barcelona just called me. Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu, with some embarrassment, tells me that they don’t want Seri.’
“I don’t understand anything. It was practically done. I put myself in the place of Seri and it’s tough. His dream of going to Barca was close, but in one night it broke down.”
Source: Sky Sports');