Football

Man Utd owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe claims club are being blocked from signing Nice player believed to be Jean-Clair Todibo

Manchester United’s co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe claims the club have been blocked from signing a Nice player, believed to be Jean-Clair Tobido, because of UEFA rules around multi-club ownership.

British billionaire Ratcliffe purchased a minority stake in Manchester United in February, also taking over the club’s sporting operations, though his role as chairman and CEO of chemical manufacturer Ineos, who own Nice, has seemingly complicated the club’s transfer business.

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

UEFA rules state that no one person or group can have “decisive interest” over more than one club competing in a UEFA tournament, and, while Nice and United will both compete in the Europa League next season, Ratcliffe claims they have been barred from conducting transfer business together.

Despite the decision, Ratcliffe has reaffirmed his commitment to Nice, stating that he does not intend to sell the team and is looking to develop a multi-club model.

United’s interest in Todibo comes as the club look to overhaul an aging defence, which has recently lost centre-back in Rafael Varane.

Todibo has been a key fixture in Nice’s back line for three seasons since transferring from Barcelona in 2021, making 30 league appearances in 2023/24 as the club finished fifth in Ligue 1.

United are also reportedly interested in signing Everton’s Jarrad Branthwaite and Lille’s Leny Yoro.

Ratcliffe also discussed the decision to stick with boss Erik ten Hag, and said: “The coach isn’t the central issue at Manchester United.

“It’s a sports club. It needs to be competitive. We’ve got more accountants than we’ve got sporting people at Manchester United. There’s room for improvement everywhere we look at Manchester United, and we will improve everything because we want to be competing for the Premier League every year.”

FEATURED IMAGE: CHRISTOPHE SIMON/GETTY IMAGES VIA ONE FOOTBALL

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