Sir Jim Ratcliffe has reportedly identified Nice star Jean-Clair Todibo as a ‘main piece’ of his transfer plans at Manchester United, as a report claims the Red Devils are also looking at a second centre-back.
United were heavily linked with Todibo in the summer before Harry Maguire decided to stay put, and their interest in the 23-year-old remains.
Fichajes claim that Ratcliffe – when he takes over football operations at Old Trafford – will make a €40m offer for Todibo, which we have a strong inkling will be accepted given the Ineos boss owns Nice, the club he would be negotiating with. The France international is under contract with the Ligue 1 side until 2027.
Given the problems United boss Erik ten Hag has had in defence this season, with the injury to Lisandro Martinez and his apparent distrust of Raphael Varane, a January move for a centre-back is thought to be a priority for Ratcliffe, and Fichajes claim they make look to sign another in the summer.
As it stands United are also ‘best positioned in the fight’ for Real Sociedad’s Robin Le Normand, and plan to ‘resume negotiations’ at the end of the season.
It’s claimed the La Liga side will ‘remain firm regarding the release clause’, which is thought to be €60m, though United could face competition for the Spain international from Arsenal, West Ham and Newcastle.
It was recently reported that Varane’s relationship with Ten Hag has ‘become strained’ with the Frenchman finding himself out of the starting lineup and it’s been suggested that he could leave the Premier League giants in January or next summer.
Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano is of the understanding that Varane could soon start to “get more playing time” but his situation “could change” if they “receive an important proposal in January”.
“As previously reported, the message on Raphael Varane remains very clear – it’s a tactical decision for him not to start games for Manchester United at the moment,” Romano told Caught Offside.
“Erik ten Hag is very happy with Harry Maguire at the moment, with how he’s playing, with his mentality, and also Jonny Evans has partnered him well.
“Still, with Evans now injured, I’m sure we’ll see Varane getting more playing time. It’s about rotation, though of course if they receive an important proposal in January the situation could change for Varane. At the moment I’m not aware of any negotiation, but if something happens it could be an open situation in January.”