Newcastle have reportedly ‘made a move’ for Nice centre-back Jean-Clair Todibo, who has been on Manchester United’s radar for several months.
Eddie Howe is keen to bring in defensive recruits this summer as he looks to build on an excellent 2022/23 campaign.
Newcastle had the joint-best defensive record in the Premier League last term but it seems Howe wants to bring in support for the likes of Sven Botman and Fabian Schar.
Now, the Magpies could potentially make a move for Todibo. But, they face competition for his signature.
Man Utd remain interested in signing the Nice star. Acquiring a new defender is especially important for Ten Hag at the moment given Harry Maguire is being heavily linked with a departure from Old Trafford.
Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane are currently Erik ten Hag’s first-choice defenders but both struggled with injuries at times during the 2022/23 campaign.
Todibo could therefore be a solid back-up option to the duo. The Frenchman is a vital player for Nice. Last season, he made 46 appearances across all competitions, impressively helping his team to keep 11 clean sheets.
Todibo makes an average of 2.2 tackles and 1.2 interceptions per match, which puts him in the top 10% for defensive statistics in Ligue 1.
He has also captained Nice on multiple occasions, showing he is an influential figure on the pitch, as well as off it.
With that in mind, it’s no surprise to see Man Utd interested in signing him this summer. Newcastle, however, could potentially scupper their plans.
According to French outlet Nice-Matin, Newcastle have ‘already made an approach for Todibo.’ Aston Villa and West Ham are also believed to hold an interest in the defender.
Despite the interest from multiple Premier League clubs, however, Todibo is reportedly ‘in no hurry’ to leave Nice this summer.
Nice-Matin add that the 23-year-old’s priority is regular game time, as he is desperate to play for France in the 2024 European Championships.
Although, it is noted that a return to his former club Barcelona wouldn’t be out of the question, should they come in for him.
As for Man Utd and Newcastle, both Ten Hag and Howe wouldn’t be able to guarantee Todibo a regular spot in the starting XI.
With that in mind, it seems the Premier League duo, as well as Aston Villa and West Ham, will have to look elsewhere for a new centre-back.