Manchester United may have their work cut out for them in their pursuit of Jean-Clair Todibo. The center back has emerged as a rising star since joining French side Nice back in 2021. The Ligue 1 outfit previously purchased the defender from Barcelona for around $9 million. Nevertheless, Todibo is expected to be the target of potential $50 million bids during the summer transfer period.

With upcoming offers expected, Todibo recently claimed that he will ultimately decide his future after the season ends. The Frenchman, however, did not exactly give Nice supporters optimism over potentially remaining on the French Riviera. “We’ll see what happens in the summer but we’re not there yet,” Todibo told reporters in February.

“I don’t want to get ahead of myself. I don’t want to give false hope. For now, I’m here at Nice. Football moves quickly, you never know what’s going to happen. I’ll wait until the summer to make my decision.”

Less than a month after the comments, Todibo then clashed with Nice fans after a defeat to Montpellier. Fans shouted at the players following the loss, which was their sixth consecutive league match without a win. The defender replied by yelling and gesturing towards the supporters in the stands. Afterwards, Todibo explained that he was merely calling for unity between the fans and players.

Spanish club looking to rebuild defense this summer

Although tensions have since calmed between the two sides, the incident has not made transfer rumors abruptly end. Instead, even more clubs are now thought to be interested in signing Todibo. Along with United, fellow Premier League sides such as Chelsea, Liverpool, and Tottenham Hotspur have all been linked with the defender.

Reports out of France, however, now claim that Atletico Madrid will make signing Todibo a priority this summer. According to the claims, Atleti manager Diego Simeone wants to revamp his typically stellar back line in the coming months. The Spaniard currently has four true center backs in the squad, as well as converted defender Axel Witsel.

Nevertheless, three of these players will be out of contract at the club in June. The potential loss of the trio will force Simeone to make some serious signings this summer. Targeting Todibo would certainly make sense and give Atleti a new leading defender in front of star goalkeeper Jan Oblak.

Manchester United’s technical department will be hoping to lean on Jim Ratcliffe’s links with Nice
Manchester United’s technical department will be hoping to lean on Jim Ratcliffe’s links with Nice

Manchester United’s technical department will be hoping to lean on Jim Ratcliffe’s links with Nice

French defender pursuit aided as Man Utd minority investor also owns Nice

Simeone’s aggressiveness in going after Todibo would seemingly be bad news for Manchester United. The Red Devils also want to sign a star center back this summer as well and apparently rate the Frenchman very highly. One particular advantage the English side may have over Atletico comes down to Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s involvement at Nice.

The British billionaire recently became a minority owner in United, but his company also currently owns Nice. As a result, Ratcliffe is the chief executive and chairman of the French team. A possible bidding war for Todibo, however, would not seemingly benefit United and Ratcliffe.

The new Red Devils minority owner recently claimed that club officials will exercise caution in the summer transfer market. Instead of regularly splashing out the cash on high-profile players, Ratcliffe asserted that he wants the team to spend wisely in the future. Nevertheless, United may have to make some bold moves in the coming months to help the team get back into Champions League contention.

Photo credits: IMAGO / PanoramiC : IMAGO / PanoramiC