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Manchester United 'face competition' from Champions League club for Jean-Clair Todibo

Man Utd 'face competition' from Champions League club for Todibo
© Reuters
Manchester United are joined by a Champions League club in the race to sign Nice defender Jean-Clair Todibo, according to a report.

Manchester United have been joined by a Champions League club in the race to sign Nice defender Jean-Clair Todibo, according to a report.

Manager Erik Ten Hag stated last month that the Red Devils will prioritise the addition of a new centre-back, centre-midfielder and striker in the summer transfer window.

Man United's need to reinforce their defence has intensified after Raphael Varane confirmed that he will be leaving the club when his contract expires on June 30.

Jonny Evans could follow suit as his contract also runs out at the end of this month, although Man United have confirmed that "discussions remain open" over the possibility of extending his current deal.

The Red Devils have been linked with a plethora of defenders in recent months ahead of the summer transfer window, and one name believed to be high on their radar is Nice star Todibo.

Nice's Jean-Clair Todibo in action on February 4, 2024© Reuters

Aston Villa to rival Man Utd for Todibo

Todibo recently waxed lyrical about Man United's minority shareholder Sir Jim Ratcliffe, who is also the owner of Nice and signed the Frenchman from Barcelona, initially on loan before joining permanently in 2022.

Man United are not the only club interested in Todibo, though, as L'Equipe reports that Aston Villa have joined the race for the 24-year-old's signature.

Aston Villa seemingly have an advantage in their pursuit of Todibo, as Unai Emery's side can offer the defender Champions League football after securing a top-four finish in the Premier League last season.

It is understood that Villa's interest in Todibo comes at a time when they are willing to listen to offers for 31-year-odl Diego Carlos, who is one of the club's highest earners.

Tottenham Hotspur, Atletico Madrid and Napoli have also been credited with an interest in Todibo, who is valued by Nice at around €25m (£21.2m).

Nice's Jean-Clair Todibo pictured training on August 5, 2023© Reuters

In-demand Todibo facing uncertain future

After failing to establish himself as a first-team regular at Barcelona, Todibo has since become a star player at Nice over the last three-and-a-half seasons.

The Toulouse academy graduate has played 136 times for Nice in all tournaments and was a standout performer in the 2023-24 campaign, starting 30 Ligue 1 matches and helping Les Aiglons keep 15 clean sheets.

Todibo still has three years remaining on his contract at Nice, who finished fifth in Ligue 1 to secure Europa League football for next season, but the prospect of playing in the Premier League does appeal to the defender.

"It's nice to hear all the compliments. I'm trying to stay focused on my game and my teammates - but for sure I am open to playing in the Premier League," the defender told the Daily Mail last month.

Todibo is currently on holiday after his impressive club form was not enough to earn himself an international call-up to the France squad for Euro 2024.

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Ineos chairman Jim Ratcliffe is pictured at Old Trafford in Manchester, Britain, March 17, 2023
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