Manchester United seems on the brink of securing the signature of Nice’s centre-back Jean-Clair Todibo, following the unsuccessful attempt to bring in Benjamin Pavard from Bayern Munich.
As reported by French publication L’Equipe, and reiterated by the Metro, Jean-Clair Todibo, the talented defender from Nice, appears to be on the cusp of finalising a deal with Manchester United.
The pursuit of Todibo comes after the Red Devils’ plans to sign Bayern Munich’s star Benjamin Pavard crumbled, especially after Harry Maguire chose to stay on at Old Trafford.
United’s original scheme involved auctioning off the English centre-back to West Ham United, a move that would facilitate their bid for the World Cup victor from Bayern. However, a twist occurred when Inter Milan reached a verbal agreement for Pavard, contingent on Bayern finding an adequate replacement.
In light of these occurrences, Todibo’s name has come to the forefront, with a move to United seeming increasingly likely. The promising vice-captain of Nice is presently priced at £34.1 million.
Todibo’s entry into senior football was met with challenges, including less than successful spells at clubs such as Barcelona, Schalke, and Benfica. Nevertheless, the young defender found his stride with Nice in France, culminating in his first call-up to the national team this past March.
While his commitment to Nice extends until 2027, the allure of the Premier League might prove irresistible.
Todibo, who formerly represented France Under-20s, had only one appearance this season, against Lille on August 11, an outing closely watched by United scouts. Interestingly, he was missing from the line-up in Nice’s recent clash with Lorient.
Over the past year, Todibo has risen to prominence as one of Ligue 1’s standout centre-backs, exhibiting many defensive attributes akin to Pavard, including commendable ball control, a readiness for tackles, and aerial proficiency. His lack of versatility as a right-back doesn’t concern United, who have ample cover for that role.
While United’s current favourites at the back are Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez, Varane’s susceptibility to injuries may pave the way for Todibo’s integration into the starting XI.
In view of the current valuation, the Nice star seems a prudent investment for the English heavyweights. Yet, uncertainties linger regarding the club’s financial capacity to seal the deal in the imminent days.
Even with Maguire’s decision to stay put, his future at Old Trafford could change before the window shuts, a notion reinforced by his exclusion from the squad during Saturday’s game against Tottenham Hotspur, albeit later attributed to a minor injury.
With the Financial Fair Play parameters in consideration, the acquisition of Todibo might be conditional on Maguire’s exit.
Additionally, it may depend on United’s ability to muster the required funds through other prospective player sales. Therefore, it seems there is still much to unfold in this intriguing transfer narrative.