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Man Utd, Chelsea cruelly teased by French centre-back sensation over summer switch that could devastate rivals

Man Utd, Chelsea cruelly teased by French centre-back sensation over summer switch that could devastate rivals

Manchester United and Chelsea defensive target Jean-Clair Todibo has provided an update on his future as talks of a summer switch to the Premier League continues to gather pace.

The 24-year-old has emerged as one of the top centre-backs in European football over the past 12-18 months, attracting interest from some of the biggest clubs across the continent in the process.

Todibo has played a significant role in Nice conceding just 11 goals in 20 games as they sit second behind runaway leaders PSG in Ligue 1 this season.

He also made his international debut for France in 2023 and as his stock continues to rise so does the number of clubs keen on his signature.

The former Barcelona youngster, who moved to the Camp Nou too early in his development to make any real impact there, had loan spells at Schalke, Benfica and Nice before moving to the French side permanently for €8.5m plus €7m in add-ons in the summer of 2021.

Todibo’s outstanding form now makes him a prized target for both United and Chelsea, who were both linked with the defender in the January window.

And while Nice made it clear they had intention of parting with such a key player at the midway stage of the campaign, the Ligue 1 outfit are bracing themselves for a possible bidding war for Todibo this summer.

It’s understood the former Toulouse man came close to completing a £34million switch to Old Trafford in the summer of 2023 and the Red Devils are expected to test Nice’s resolve once again.

However, asked about a potential move away from his current club, Todibo replied: “I am at Nice and we’re having a great season.

“I don’t have my head elsewhere. If I did it would be difficult for me personally and for the group too.”

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Todibo drops hint over future Nice exit

Todibo did hint, however, that a switch could happen at the end of the season – giving United and Chelsea hope in the process.

He added: “I feel really good at Nice. We’ll see what happens in the summer but we’re not there yet.

“I don’t want to get ahead of myself. I don’t want to give false hope. For now, I’m here at Nice.”

Todibo also reassured Nice fans that he would wait until the end of the season before making a final decision over his future.

He added: “Football moves quickly, you never know what’s going to happen. I’ll wait until the summer to make my decision.

“If my decision is to stay, I’ll announce it, if it is to leave, I’ll announce it too and I’ll thank everyone, but we’re not there yet.”

The France international, who remains under contract until the summer of 2027, also wants to achieve “something beautiful” at Nice before he eventually moves on.

“There are important games coming up. The goal is that if it is to be my final season at Nice, then I want to leave here having done something beautiful with the club,” he went on.

“The supporters and the club deserve players who give everything on the pitch, and to achieve something substantial.

“Personally, if I am to leave, I want to leave something good behind.”

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United, meanwhile, are expected to undergo a major overhaul of the centre-back position in the summer under new part-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe.

The futures of Harry Maguire, Raphael Varane, Victor Lindelof and Jonny Evans are all in doubt, with at least one and potentially two younger central defenders expected to be brought in.

Chelsea are also set to move on from veteran star Thiago Silva this summer, with the Brazilian dropped from the starting line-up for arguably the team’s best performance of the season as they won 3-1 at Aston Villa in the FA Cup in midweek.

Mauricio Pochettino is expected to be afforded time to build a young and vibrant Blues side that will eventually challenge for top honours, with Todibo lined-up as another piece of the jigsaw that needs filling.

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