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Jean-Clair Todibo reveals reason for snubbing Manchester United move

Jean-Clair Todibo reveals reason for snubbing Man United move
© Reuters
Nice defender Jean-Clair Todibo opens up on his reasons for snubbing a summer move to Manchester United, claiming that he did not want to make a "mistake".

Nice centre-back Jean-Clair Todibo has revealed that he turned his nose up to a summer move to Manchester United as he did not want to make a "mistake", while he feels safe in the knowledge that he has "guarantees" at the Allianz Riviera.

The Red Devils allowed two long-serving defenders to leave the club in the summer window, as Phil Jones and Axel Tuanzebe departed upon the expiration of their contracts.

The future of former captain Harry Maguire was also a major talking point amid the 30-year-old's demotion to fifth choice behind Raphael Varane, Victor Lindelof, Lisandro Martinez and Luke Shaw, who was often preferred in central defence last term despite being a left-back by trade.

Had Maguire completed a £30m transfer to West Ham United, Man United would have sought to replace the £80m man in the last knockings of the window and had apparently eyed up a move for Todibo.

Erik ten Hag's side had already lost out on the signature of Kim Min-jae to Bayern Munich, who also sold Benjamin Pavard to Inter Milan rather than offloading him to the Premier League.

Harry Maguire pictured on June 16, 2023© Reuters

At one stage, it was reported that a £34m deal to bring Todibo to Old Trafford was close, but the window slammed shut with the 23-year-old still on the books at the Allianz Riviera.

Having opted to stay put with Les Aiglons, Todibo recently opened up on his whirlwind summer to L'Equipe and revealed that he did have offers to join "top" clubs, but he is still searching for the "complete project".

"I'm not going to lie and say that I didn't have the thought to tell myself that perhaps I should play in a "top club" to increase my chances [of playing for France], but there are also guarantees when playing at Nice," Todibo told the French outlet.

"I experienced it differently from my previous situations in my career. My thinking was much more in-depth, thoughtful. I didn't want to make a mistake in my choice. I remained very calm.

"Reflection is much more important than when I started. I'm waiting to be presented with the complete project. What is expected of me? Why am I coming? You shouldn't arrive at a club like that.

Nice's Jean-Clair Todibo in action with Paris Saint-Germain's Kylian Mbappe on April 8, 2023© Reuters

"I know what I have at Nice. Why go into the unknown? So, everything must be clear. My first transfer, I was 18 years old. The thinking was not as thorough."

Todibo was a youth product at Toulouse before earning a marquee move to Barcelona in 2019, but he played just five times for the senior Blaugrana team and was also loaned out to Schalke and Benfica.

The 6ft 3in centre-back first arrived at Nice on loan midway through the 2020-21 season, where he formed an effective pairing with Arsenal's William Saliba and made his stay permanent for €8.5m (£7.3m) that same summer.

Todibo has now represented Les Aiglons on 106 occasions - scoring two goals and setting up one more - and he made his debut for France in their 2-1 friendly defeat to Germany earlier this week.

The 23-year-old remains under contract at Nice until 2027, and while Man United could reignite their interest next summer, the Red Devils are now thought to have switched their focus to Benfica's Antonio Silva.

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Manchester United's Harry Maguire after the match on August 14, 2023
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