Ratcliffe slams ‘unfair’ UEFA rule with Man Utd transfer ‘off’ as owner ponders selling club

Jason Soutar
Sir Jim Ratcliffe can not bring Jean-Clair Todibo to Man Utd due to UEFA ruling
Sir Jim Ratcliffe can not bring Jean-Clair Todibo to Man Utd due to UEFA ruling

Manchester United owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe says UEFA blocking the club from signing Nice defender Jean-Clair Todibo is “not fair”.

Todibo has been on Manchester United‘s radar for a couple of years but question marks have lingered over the potential signing as he plays for Nice, who INEOS also owns.

The French centre-back has impressed for the Ligue 1 outfit since joining from Barcelona in 2021.

He played 30 times in Ligue 1 last term as his side finished fifth, qualifying for the Europa League.

Nice’s participation in the Europa League has also called into question whether or not Man Utd will be allowed to compete in the same competition due to UEFA’s rules over multi-club ownership.

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It has been reported that both clubs will be allowed to participate in the competition in 2024/25 after UEFA allowed for next season to be a transitional period following Ratcliffe’s 25 per cent acquisition of the Premier League giants.

Reports earlier this month claimed that Ratcliffe is looking to sell Nice as he makes the Red Devils his top priority as a lifelong supporter of the club.

After UEFA told Man Utd and Nice they could both play – and potentially meet- in the Europa League next season, they have now blocked a transfer between the two clubs.

Fabrizio Romano reported on Wednesday evening that Todibo’s potential move to Old Trafford is “off” due to UEFA rules.

Ratcliffe confirmed this in an interview with Bloomberg, stating that Todibo is allowed to join a different Premier League club but not Man Utd, which is “not fair on the player”.

“They’ve said we can sell him to another Premiership club, but we can’t sell to Manchester United,” he said. “But that’s not fair on the player and I don’t see what that achieves.”

In the interview, Ratcliffe said that Man Utd will not “solve all the problems” at the club “in the first transfer window” and notes that buying one superstar “isn’t going to solve the problem at Manchester United”.

Ratcliffe has agreed to bring in some big names behind the scenes, landing Manchester City CEO Omar Berrada, but out of his notable additions only technical director Jason Wilcox is currently in place.

“We’re sort of a bit handicapped in that sense, so I think we’ll do a fairly good job,” Ratcliffe added. “It will take two or three summer windows to get to a better place.”

Ratcliffe is eager to bring in Dan Ashworth from Newcastle United as his new director of football but the British billionaire is unwilling to pay the Magpies’ desired compensation fee.