Man Utd ‘closing in on Jean-Clair Todibo transfer’ as Ten Hag gets ‘bonus’ deal

Football Digest: Man Utd with work to do after sluggish start

Manchester United are reportedly closing in on a move for Nice defender Jean-Clair Todibo as the centre-back is said to be nearing a transfer that could cost as much as £34million. The Red Devils have already signed Mason Mount, Andre Onana and Rasmus Hojlund this summer and the three new additions could be joined by Todibo before the window closes in just over a week.

French outlet L’Equipe have claimed that a move taking Todibo to United is close, with the 23-year-old’s signing ‘in sight’ as Erik ten Hag searches for more defensive cover. The former Barcelona man was thought to be on a three-man shortlist of Harry Maguire replacements, alongside Crystal Palace star Marc Guehi and Bayer Leverkusen’s Edmond Tapsoba.

United had been in advanced talks with West Ham over the sale of Maguire for £30m, but those negotiations collapsed and the Hammers have since moved on – announcing the signing of Stuttgart centre-back Konstantinos Mavropanos that all but confirms the former United captain will not be moving to the London Stadium.

It remains to be seen whether or not Maguire will leave before next week’s deadline, but the club are said to be working hard to land Todibo as a ‘bonus’ signing. The Manchester Evening News claimed that senior United figures described a defender acquisition as a ‘bonus’ having already landed Ten Hag’s three main targets this summer.

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Bayern Munich’s Benjamin Pavard had been earmarked as a replacement for Maguire when it was thought that the 30-year-old would seal a move to West Ham, but after talks broke down United then stalled on Pavard and allowed Inter Milan to move in and finalise a deal for the France international instead.

Pavard would have been able to provide cover at right-back in addition to centre-back, an advantage over Todibo as there may be a logjam in the middle behind Ten Hag’s preferred pairing of Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane. While the latter has been linked with a move to Saudi Arabia, those suggestions have since been rubbished.

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Ten Hag can call upon Victor Lindelof and Maguire behind them, while Luke Shaw deputised very ably last season and was even moved ahead of Maguire in the pecking order.

This is all before Todibo joins the club as there is no assurance that the England defender will be moved on as he is said to be happy fighting for his place at Old Trafford.

United are still planning to sign a goalkeeper and midfielder before the transfer window closes, though both cases may depend on sales as the club have been forced to consider their ongoing takeover process and Financial Fair Play concerns this summer.

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