Sir Jim Ratcliffe slams 'unfair' ruling on Man Utd's Jean-Clair Todibo interest

  • Man Utd blocked from pursuing Nice centre-back Todibo this summer
  • Both clubs owned by Sir Jim Ratcliffe & INEOS
  • UEFA rules on multi-club ownership proving problematic for new United co-owner
Man Utd cannot currently sign Todibo
Man Utd cannot currently sign Todibo / Quality Sport Images/GettyImages

Manchester United co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe has confirmed the Red Devils have been blocked from signing Nice centre-back Jean-Clair Todibo this summer.

Ratcliffe, who also owns Ligue 1 side Nice, purchased a controlling share of United earlier this season and was quickly tipped to strike a deal to bring Todibo to Old Trafford with him after the 24-year-old established himself as one of the top young defenders in Europe.

However, Fabrizio Romano revealed on Wednesday that, despite advanced talks over a potential transfer, UEFA rules had blocked United from doing business with Nice while both clubs are under Ratcliffe's control.

Ratcliffe confirmed as much in an interview with Bloomberg, voicing his confusion towards the decision.

"They've said we can sell him to another Premiership club, but we can't sell to Manchester United," Ratcliffe said. "But that's not fair on the player and I don't see what that achieves."

Sir Jim Ratcliffe
Ratcliffe is unhappy with the ruling / Marc Atkins/GettyImages

Ratcliffe's association with both Nice and United has long led to questions about the two teams' ability to play in the same UEFA competition as the current rules forbid clubs under the control of the same entity to compete against each other.

Red Bull Salzburg and RB Leipzig, both owned by Red Bull, faced an investigation into that issue in 2017 and were only granted permission to play in the same competition after officials linked to the drinks franchise were removed from the former's board.

Not only have Salzburg and Leipzig competed against each other since, but they have also done several deals in the transfer market. Dominik Szoboszlai and Benjamin Sesko are the most notable names to have made the switch from Austria to Germany since the investigation was closed.

Manchester City are also facing similar scrutiny in their pursuit of Brazilian winger Savio, who has been signed from Troyes after a season on loan with Girona - two clubs also under the ownership of the City Football Group.