European giants rival Man Utd in Jean-Clair Todibo pursuit - report

  • La Liga club now linked with Nice defender Jean-Clair Todibo
  • Man Utd have shown interest in centre-back for several months
  • Also previously monitored by Tottenham but €60m price is steep
Jean-Clair Todibo has been of longstanding interest to Man Utd
Jean-Clair Todibo has been of longstanding interest to Man Utd / Franco Arland/GettyImages

Manchester United could face competition if they opt to pursue OGC Nice centre-back Jean-Clair Todibo in the summer transfer window, with Atletico Madrid now linked with the defender.

United have seen the heart of their defence ravaged by injuries throughout 2023/24 – at present, Harry Maguire is the only senior centre-back available to manager Erik ten Hag – so recruiting in that department seems like a must ahead of a crucial 2024/25 campaign.

Todibo, once briefly of Barcelona but now thriving at Nice, marshalling Ligue 1's meanest defence this season, has emerged as a target in recent months. He is also well known to Sir Jim Ratcliffe already through INEOS' ownership of the French side.

But a new report from France states Atletico Madrid's firm interest. According to Footmercato, Atletico have made Todibo their first-choice target to strengthen at the back, having seen their once ironclad defence become much more porous since last winning La Liga in 2021.

Diego Simeone
Diego Simeone wants to boost his defence / BSR Agency/GettyImages

The 24-year-old is under contract with Nice until 2027, which would require negotiating a transfer fee with Nice in addition to persuading the player to return to Spain.

Manchester United's interest in Todibo actually predates the arrival of the new INEOS contingent at Old Trafford. But 90min has previously reported there will be no favours or discount offered by Nice, leaving United officials concerned over a premium asking price of up to €60m (£51m).

That isn't as much as the £70m and higher Everton are expected to quote for 21-year-old Jarrad Branthwaite, who is also admired by United – as well as Real Madrid, but Todibo's price tag is not currently seen as the best value money on the market.

Tottenham Hotspur were previously put off Todibo by the €60m valuation and subsequently landed Radu Dragusin in January for around half that price. Despite still being linked with Todibo, 90min understands there are no plans to resurrect interest or make an approach. Spurs are also eyeing Branthwaite, who received his first senior England call-up in March.