Liverpool have 'advantage' over Man Utd for target despite Jim Ratcliffe influence

Liverpool have an 'advantage' over Manchester United in the pursuit of Jean-Clair Todibo, according to a report.

The 24-year-old Nice centre back has become one of the most coveted young, ball-playing defenders in Europe in recent months, attracting interest from some of the continent's top clubs.

The former Barcelona player earned his first France senior caps last year and has been a mainstay of Nice's starting XI, with the Ineos-owned club flying high in second in Ligue 1.

With Liverpool known to be on the lookout for defensive reinforcement in 2024, the Reds are reported to be among the clubs monitoring Todibo.

According to Nice-Matin, Liverpool's Premier League rivals Manchester United – who have recently undergone a partial takeover by Ineos CEO Sir Jim Ratcliffe – Newcastle and Tottenham are all interested in the centre back.

Paris Saint-Germain too are name-checked in the report, which claims it would take €60m (£51.5m) to prise Todibo away from Nice this January, with a summer move seemingly more likely.

It is speculated that should the defender make the France squad for the European Championships in Germany this summer, his price could 'skyrocket'.

Most interestingly for Liverpool, the report claims that while there is no shortage of potential suitors for Todibo, the Reds have a clear 'advantage' over Manchester United at least.

While the Red Devils "will rely on Dave Brailsford and Jim Ratcliffe to tout the Ineos gateway", it is noted that Liverpool are already established with a top coach and strong, competitive squad.

That squad includes Ibrahima Konate, who could be used as a secret weapon to help attract Todibo should the Reds be drawn into a transfer battle. Nice-Matin's piece reveals that the Liverpool No. 5 is "very close" to Todibo, having played together at international level.

Whether Nice's Ineos owners would be willing to do business with Liverpool, however, given their new United links is another matter the report doesn't touch.

The Reds have also recently been linked with Goncalo Inacio (Sporting CP), Antonio Silva (Benfica) and Ko Itakura (Gladbach) among others.

In addition to the need for a left-sided centre back, Joel Matip's contract situation – the 32-year-old has half a season left on his current deal – opens the possibility for further recruitment this summer.

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