Manchester United’s summer transfer activity has been spread over the pitch, but with just over a week to go, the Premier League team has yet to bolster the central defense, despite continuous rumours.
Andre Onana has taken over in goal for David De Gea, Mason Mount has been added to give depth and dynamism to the midfield, and Rasmus Hojlund has been signed as the new center-forward.
While the focus appears to be on signing pass master Sofyan Amrabat, Erik ten Hag’s side is also keeping an eye on OGC Nice’s Jean-Clair Todibo, and a formal offer might be on the way.
What’s the latest on Jean-Clair Todibo’s possible move to Manchester United?
According to L’Equipe (via Get French Football News), the Frenchman is close to joining the Old Trafford club and is valued at roughly €40 million (£34 million).
The 23-year-old has been regarded by the Red Devil administration as the ideal succession to Harry Maguire, who has been heavily linked with a move away, and while this has not materialised, United remain interested.
How talented is Jean-Clair Todibo?
Manchester United began their Premier League campaign with a close victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers before falling to Tottenham Hotspur in London.
While the season is still in its early stages, it is evident that the United midfield requires more help and energy, and bringing Todibo into the fold would aid those ahead of him the most, with Casemiro likely to benefit the most.
The illustrious Brazilian anchor was bought from Real Madrid in a £70 million deal last summer, after winning five Champions League trophies and three LaLiga titles in Spain.
Casemiro was praised by The Athletic in February for his transformative effect on United’s midfield, providing an all-encompassing sheen to his defensive efforts, ranking among the top 12% of midfielders across Europe’s top five leagues for shots taken, the top 28% for shot-creating actions, and the top 17% for progressive passes per 90 in the previous year, according to FBref.
More importantly, his defensive performance is exceptional, ranking among the top 4% in tackles and aerials won and the top 1% in clearances and blocks per 90 minutes.
Not only would Todibo improve the 31-year-old’s game, but he would also benefit from the ace, who has been described as being on a “different level” by columnist Liam Canning.
Todibo, characterized as “solid as a rock” by scout Jacek Kulig, had a remarkable average Sofascore rating of 6.94 in Ligue 1 last season, completing 89% of his passes, making 2.2 tackles and 3.1 clearances per game, and completing 65% of his duel efforts.
The £19k-a-week colossus is also among the top 4% of positional peers in terms of successful take-ons and the top 10% in terms of tackles per 90, indicating a toughness that could allow Casemiro’s qualities to show.
The Bundesliga official website also stated that the former Schalke behemoth is’superb on the ball,’ which further adds to the case for his signing.
This season, Casemiro has been dribbled past three times per game in the Premier League, and while it is still early in the season, this is a troubling factor.
With Todibo established as an unassailable wall in front of Onana’s goal, United may be one step closer to building the togetherness and toughness required for success this season, and Ten Hag must now coordinate a transfer.