Manchester United to sign coveted French centre-back - but only if Harry Maguire leaves: report

Manchester United manager Erik Ten Hag pictured during the pre season friendly match between Manchester United and Athletic Bilbao at Aviva Stadium on August 6, 2023 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images) Harry Maguire
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Manchester United have already identified their centre-back replacement for Harry Maguire, should he leave in the transfer window. 

Now fourth-choice centre-back at Manchester United, behind Lisandro Martinez, Raphael Varane and Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire looks destined to leave Old Trafford this summer.

West Ham United, Tottenham Hotspur and Everton are all interested in the 30-year-old, with England manager Gareth Southgate publicly stating that Maguire needs to play regular first-team football in order to be picked. With the Euros coming up next summer, Maguire could therefore leave in search of consistent minutes, and the Red Devils are already lining up his replacement. 

Manchester United target Nice's French defender Jean-Clair Todibo gestures during the French L1 football match between OGC Nice and Toulouse FC at the Allianz Riviera Stadium in Nice, south-eastern France, on May 21, 2023. (Photo by Nicolas TUCAT / AFP) (Photo by NICOLAS TUCAT/AFP via Getty Images)

Jean-Clair Todibo is being targeted to replace Maguire (Image credit: Getty Images)

According to Fabrizio Romano, Manchester United have contracted Nice about the availability of French centre-back Jean-Clair Todibo. However, the transfer specialist also clarifies that any potential deal relies on Maguire being sold.

Todibo came through the Toulouse academy before signing for Barcelona for free in 2019. However, after managing just five appearances for Barca he went on loan to Schalke, Benfica and Nice, before the French side eventually made the move permanent.

Now 23, Todibo has played regular football in the past two seasons in Ligue 1, making 86 appearances at centre-back for the side owned by Sir Jim Ratcliffe, a prospective buyer of Manchester United. 

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Nice are open to selling Todibo at the right price, too, with sporting director Florent Ghisolfi recently stating that they would allow their coveted players to move on, should their valuations be met. 

"We hope to keep all of our vital players, but we’ve never tied players down. If all parties are satisfied, a departure could happen,” Ghisolfi said.

Todibo's contract with Nice runs until the summer of 2027, though, meaning the French side are believed to want at least £40m for the Frenchman. 

Transfermarkt values him at £25m. 

Harry Maguire #5 of Manchester United in action during the Manchester United v Athletic Bilbao, pre-season friendly match at Aviva Stadium on August 6th, 2023 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)

Signing Todibo relies on Maguire being sold (Image credit: Getty Images)

More Manchester United stories

Manchester United transfer news is starting to come thick and fast.

The Manchester United season preview looks at why the Red Devils can start to dream of winning the Premier League title again, while all other 91 clubs in the top four tiers of English football are looked at, too.  

Meanwhile, David Beckham has claimed the Glazers now need to leave, as Marcus Rashford reveals how Erik ten Hag has transformed the club in his year in charge.

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