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Manchester United 'still interested in January deal for Jean-Clair Todibo'

Man United 'still interested in January deal for Todibo'
© Reuters
Manchester United reportedly still hold an interest in Nice defender Jean-Clair Todibo ahead of the January transfer window.

Manchester United reportedly still hold an interest in Nice defender Jean-Clair Todibo ahead of the January transfer window.

The Red Devils are believed to be prioritising the addition of a new centre-back in the New Year, amid uncertainty over the futures of a few first-team options in Erik ten Hag's squad.

Raphael Varane was once regarded as a mainstay in the United backline, but the Frenchman has recently been overlooked by Ten Hag, starting just one of the club's last nine matches in all competitions.

The 30-year-old has subsequently been linked with a possible departure from Old Trafford, although it is understood that Bayern Munich are not planning to recruit the defender contrary to previous reports.

Harry Maguire's long-term future is also believed to be uncertain even though the Englishman has worked his way back into the starting lineup, while both Jonny Evans and Victor Lindelof are due to see their contracts expire in June 2024.

Nice defender Jean-Clair Todibo reacts in March 2022© Reuters

Man United have been linked with a plethora of central defenders in recent months, but Nice star Todibo is believed to be high on the Red Devils' wishlist.

Although recent reports have suggested that Man United could delay their pursuit of Todibo until the summer of 2024, Sky Deutschland reporter Florian Plettenberg claims that the 23-yar-old remains a target for Ten Hag's side in the January window.

Plettenberg adds that United's potential addition of Todibo should not affect their pursuit of Benfica's Antonio Silva, who is believed to be one of their primary targets for next summer.

Man United could face stern competition for Todibo's signature, though, as Premier League trio Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool and Chelsea have also been credited with an interest.

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

It is thought that Man United could have a slight advantage in the race to sign Todibo as Nice are owned by INEOS CEO Sir Jim Ratcliffe, who is on the verge of purchasing a 25% stake from the Glazer family.

Todibo began his professional career in his native France with Toulouse before joining Barcelona in 2019, but he struggled for first-team football at Camp Nou and featured just five times.

The defender gained first-team experience during loan spells at Schalke 04, Benfica and Nice before moving the latter on a permanent deal in 2021, and he has since blossomed into a star player for the Ligue 1 outfit.

Todibo has made 115 appearances in all competitions for Nice and has been a standout performer in the 2023-24 campaign, starting 12 Ligue 1 games and helping Les Aiglons – who sit second in the table – keep nine clean sheets.

As well as Todibo and Silva, Man United have also been linked with other central defenders including Sporting Lisbon's Goncalo Inacio, Roma's Gianluca Mancini and Crystal Palace's Marc Guehi.

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Roma's Gianluca Mancini pictured in March 2021
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