Man Utd: Ratcliffe ‘hires lawyer’ to ‘contest regulations’ as INEOS look to ‘complete’ first signing

Jason Soutar
Sir Jim Ratcliffe with Jean-Clair Todibo and the Man Utd badge in small circles
Man Utd owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe wants to sign Jean-Clair Todibo from Nice

Manchester United owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe has reportedly hired a lawyer to help secure the signing of Jean-Clair Todibo from OGC Nice.

UEFA rules have blocked the Red Devils pursuit of Nice defender Todibo as the club’s owners, INEOS, also own the French outfit.

Ratcliffe has already been handed a favour from the governing body by allowing both clubs to compete in the Europa League next season.

However, the transfer between two clubs under the same ownership has strictly been blocked.

Ratcliffe recently discussed the rule, saying that it is “not fair on the player”, who must be open to moving to Old Trafford.

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“They’ve said we can sell him to another Premiership club, but we can’t sell to Manchester United,” he said during an interview earlier this month.

“But that’s not fair on the player and I don’t see what that achieves.”

Ratcliffe appears to be adamant about signing Todibo from Nice in what would be the smoothest negotiations of all time.

A new centre-back is Man Utd’s top priority this summer and Erik ten Hag’s side have seen a £35million bid rejected for Everton’s Jarrad Branthwaite.

Ratcliffe is very keen on signing Branthwaite but knows Todibo would be significantly cheaper, with the Toffees holding out for around £70m.

Man Utd owner Ratcliffe ‘hires lawyer’ to battle UEFA over Nice signing

With the potential signing of the Frenchman currently off the table, it has been reported that INEOS has ‘Swiss lawyer Gianpaolo Monteneri to plead before the Court of Arbitration for Sport in favor of the arrival of the defender’.

According to Belgian journalist Sacha Tavolieri, Ratcliffe is very keen to ‘complete the transfer of Todibo’ and will ‘contest the regulations put in place’ by hiring Monteneri.

Hopefully Nice owner Ratcliffe can do Man Utd owner Ratcliffe a favour by lowering the asking price for Todibo after the latter pays all of those lawyer fees.

It has been reported that the British billionaire is open to selling Nice as he makes Man Utd his top priority.

However, earlier this month Ratcliffe said it was “not (Ineos’) intention” to sell Nice, and spoke about how he saw the French club being able to develop players for the Premier League giants and also utilise their position within the European Union to sign promising under-18 footballers.

Ratcliffe, who backed Britain’s exit from the EU in 2016, said: “Because of Brexit it’s quite difficult now to contract the younger generational talents in Europe, but Nice could do that.

“If it’s a fantastic 15-year-old in France we can sign him up to Nice and use Nice as a conduit to Manchester United later on.”

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