Erik ten Hag eyes controversial Ratcliffe tactic despite Man Utd transfer snub

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Written By Maya Cantina

Manchester United are plotting a January move for OGC Nice defender Jean-Clair Todibo despite the Frenchman snubbing interest from the Red Devils in the summer.

It’s been a dismal start to the season for United from a defensive perspective, with Erik ten Hag’s side shipping 17 goals in the Premier League alone. Their most recent outing highlighted some glaring defensive flaws, with the Red Devils on the wrong end of a 1-0 scoreline away at Newcastle, who could have put plenty more past Andre Onana.

Raphael Varane has suddenly dropped down the defensive pecking order, and though Harry Maguire has revived his United career, it is clear that further reinforcements are required. According to Sky Germany, Todibo is high on Ten Hag’s transfer wishlist ahead of the upcoming window.

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The 23-year-old Nice captain has long been the subject of interest from United, but opted against making the move to Old Trafford due to wanting assurances over his amount of playing time. Ten Hag’s side aren’t alone in their desire to land Todibo’s signature, with Tottenham also keeping tabs on the centre-back.

It is unclear just how much money the United boss has at his disposal to use on transfers in January, but Nice have slapped a £45million price-tag on Todibo. Considering the price of other options on the market, those at the top of the Red Devils hierarchy could deem that a steal.

The transfer would certainly raise more eyebrows than usual, given Nice are owned by Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the same British billionaire expected to announce his purchase of a 25 per-cent stake in United in the coming days. It seems inevitable that other clubs may voice concerns over a deal between two sides owned, at least partly, by the same person.

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Jean-Clair Todibo has emerged as a potential target for Manchester United
Jean-Clair Todibo has emerged as a potential target for Manchester United
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Getty Images)

United’s defence has suffered their fair share of injuries this season, with all of Varane, Lisandro Martinez and Luke Shaw suffering injuries at some point. Tyrell Malacia has been sidelined all season after a set-back in his recovery from a long-term knee injury.

Todibo’s arrival would undoubtedly ease some of the concern surrounding the contant fitness issues of United’s back-line. In contrast, it may lead to key departure, amid speculation over the future of Varane after his spell on the bench.

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