Tottenham can’t sign a superstar center back even if they try.

Tottenham are in talks with Jean-Claude Todibo as their top target, but there is an unexpected twist.

Fabrizio Romano, a journalist for the UK’s The Guardian and a recognized expert on the European transfer market, took to his YouTube channel on Monday (Jan. 21) to discuss Tottenham’s interest in Todibo.

“Tottenham are understood to have opened talks to sign Todibo in the January transfer window. Tottenham will sign a 100% new center back in the January transfer window. Todibo is one of our priority targets. There are several players on the shortlist, but over the past week, Spurs have been in talks with the player and his representatives. We have also spoken to Nice about possible terms,” said Tottenham’s source, adding that Spurs have been proactive in their pursuit of Todivo.

He added: “Timing will be crucial. Tottenham want to get the deal done quickly. They don’t want it to take a month to negotiate with Nice and the player. Negotiations are ongoing.”

However, the big variable in Tottenham’s pursuit of Todibo is Nice’s owner, the Ineos Group. The group, led by British tycoon Jim Ratcliffe, is set to become the new sporting operator of United in addition to owning Nice.

After the club’s owners, the Glazer family, announced their intention to sell their stake in the club, Ineos Group decided to take a 25% minority stake. After acquiring a stake in the club for a hefty sum, Ineos will be in control of the club’s sporting decisions. Ineos wants to bring Todivo to the club, which will be under its management.

According to Romano, “Todivo is still on United’s transfer list. Nice’s owners, the Ineos Group, are set to take a 25% stake in the club and they are still pushing for Todibo to join them. Both United and Tottenham are in the race, and the ending is open. Nothing has been finalized, but Tottenham are definitely trying to sign Todibo. The timing of United’s acquisition of the club will be crucial.”

If Ineos Group wants to sell Todibo, who is considered to have a bright future, to Manchester United rather than send him to Tottenham, it won’t be easy, no matter how hard Spurs try.

Todibo has been touted as the next Rafael Varane since he was a youngster. He didn’t make it at Barcelona, but he fulfilled his potential at OGC Nice, becoming one of the best defenders in French Ligue 1. He recently earned a call-up to the French national team.

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