Erik ten Hag ‘is lining up a move for a former Barcelona centre-back’ as Man United boss ‘sets priority on defensive reinforcements’ amid injury issues
by: Hani Kamal El-Din
Manchester United are reportedly expected to prioritise defensive signings when they head into the January transfer window.
Erik ten Hag’s side have been plagued by injury across the pitch, but their performances at the back have been an increasingly worrying cause for concern.
United recently leaked three goals to Manchester City and Newcastle, and conceded four in the Champions League against Copenhagen.
Much of their more defensive-minded players have been among the injury list, such as midfielder Casemiro and Argentina centre back Lisandro Martinez, so ten Hag will undoubtedly prioritise buying a defender.
The Manchester club reportedly have their sites set on a few players, but a former Barcelona centre back has been linked with a move to Old Trafford the most.
Jean Clair Todibo represented France in their record breaking 14-0 demolition of Gibraltar
Erik ten Hag will be looking for reinforcements at the back as his side have struggled defensively
Your browser does not support iframes.
Nice centre back Jean-Clair Todibo was originally a target for the Red Devils across the summer, but the move did not go ahead due to Harry Maguire’s failed £30m transfer to West Ham.
On the failed move Todibo said: ‘I experienced it differently from my previous situations in my career. My thinking was much more in-depth, thoughtful. I didn’t want to make a mistake in my choice. I remained very calm.’
The 23-year-old has since impressed at the heart of Nice’s defence and earned a call up to the France squad, playing in the recent international break.
He started his career with Toulouse but joined Barcelona as a teenager and is epxected to cost somewhere in the region of £35m.
Another part of this transfer would be the potential involvement of Nice owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe, whose INEOS group are heavily linked with buying a stake in Manchetser United.
However, a temporary ban involving incoming loan signings between clubs with the same owners was recently proposed.
Premier League shareholders are set to vote on this later in the month, and United would certainly be affected should Sir Jim take over.
United can of course still buy Todibo outright, and ten Hag will certainly be thinking over his startegy come January 1st as his side look to iron out all their inconsistencies.
Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s INEOS group stands on the verge of finalising the £1.3billion acquisition of 25 per cent of the club.