Manchester United Deal to Sign Defender is Off

Manchester United's move for Nice defender Jean-Clair Todibo is off due to UEFA's multi-club ownership rules. Learn how this impacts United's transfer plans and their Europa League participation.
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Manchester United's plans to strengthen their defence have been dealt a significant blow as the club’s deal to sign Nice defender Jean-Clair Todibo this summer is off as per Fabrizio Romano. The issue arises from UEFA's regulations on multi-club ownership, which prohibits any organization or individual from having "decisive influence" over the operations of more than one club playing in the same competition.

After recently joining Manchester United, Sir Jim Ratcliffe's company INEOS owns both Nice and a 27.7 percent stake in Manchester United. Both clubs have qualified for the Europa League and are now awaiting a decision from an independent panel on whether they will be allowed to participate in the competition next season under UEFA rules or not. The clubs had until June 3 to provide evidence to UEFA demonstrating compliance with the regulations.

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Todibo, who had a solid season for Nice, was under the radar for a long time as a potential transfer target for Manchester United, who need to boost their defence after a leaky season where they let in goal after goal in the Premier League. Following Raphael Varane's departure for free and Victor Lindelof also reported for a move to Fenerbahçe for better game time, United might need to sign two more defenders. However, UEFA's recent guidance on multi-club ownership, issued on May 14 by Sunil Gulati, chairman of UEFA’s club financial control body first chamber, explicitly warned against player transfers between clubs under the same ownership when both are in the same competition.

If Ratcliffe and INEOS are found to have "decisive influence" over both clubs, Manchester United could face dropping into the Conference League due to their eighth-place Premier League finish, as Nice finished fifth in Ligue 1. Manchester United have represented their case to UEFA on how they can navigate this issue and a decision is expected to go their way but this ruling significantly complicates United's transfer plans, with the deal for Todibo now off.

As per reports, Talks were advanced with all parties keen for months but Nice and Manchester United with the same ownership playing in the same European competition next season means the deal is off. Nice is expected to look for other potential suitors for their towering defender, who had a brilliant season in the Ligue 1.

Manchester United is already in the market for other defenders as well with Jarrad Branthwaite and Matthijs de Ligt on the news for a potential transfer. It is still to be seen how the transfer window shapes for Manchester United who are preparing for a season to come out on top after a disappointing season when they finished eighth in the league and crashed out of the Champions League group stages.

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