Nice coach Francesco Farioli admits he hopes to retain Jean-Clair Todibo as Premier League giants Manchester United install the Frenchman as their top choice to replace Harry Maguire.

Now, nobody is perfect. Not even Jean-Clair Todibo. A rapid-fire sending off after just nine seconds in one Ligue 1 fixture last season is proof that the centre-half is not quite the finished product just yet; the Frenchman still prone to moments of head-on-mars madness. 

But, at 23, Todibo has more than enough time on his side to iron out those kinks. And Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag feels like the ideal coach to help him do just that.

Photo by Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images

Harry Maguire out and Jean-Clair Todibo in at Man United

According to Fabrizio Romano, the one-time Barcelona youngster is Manchester United’s number one target to replace the West Ham-bound Harry Maguire. That is despite interest in Benjamin Pavard, Edmond Tapsoba and Marc Guehi. 

Todibo is seven years Maguire’s junior. What’s more, as you might have guessed from a centre-half who was once headhunted by Barcelona, Todibo is more than confident with the ball at his feet.

It’s certainly hard to imagine the one-time Wolves and Southampton target getting himself into the sort of muddle Maguire stumbled into on Sunday, gifting a goal to Athletic Bilbao in what looks like being his final appearance in that iconic red shirt. 

Nice’s new head coach, however, is not giving up hope of retaining Todibo before September’s deadline.

A new centre-half at Old Trafford

“He is one of the most talented players in the team, just like Khephren Thuram,” Farioli, who was linked with both the Celtic and Rangers jobs over the last 12 months, tells Get French Football News.

“We hear and read a lot of rumours about players leaving. We want to have both of them until the end of the season. That’s what the (Nice) management wants as well.

“As long as they’re here – for as long as possible I hope – they have to concentrate on the club, even for their own individual journey. Everything will depend on what they can do for OGC Nice. We’re working as usual, and we’ll see on 31st August.”

Todibo is reportedly valued at £25 million (RMC Sport). A fee which appears to have put an end to Juventus’ hopes of signing him.  

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