In football transfer rumor parlance, what’s the next step up from “entered the race”? You guessed it, it’s “held talks.” That’s where we are right now in the rumors linking Tottenham Hotspur with a summer move for Nice central defender Jean-Clair Todibo. Rob Guest, writing for Football.London, wrote those two magical little words, which in and of itself doesn’t really add much to the conversation but does provide more anecdotal evidence that Todibo is pretty high up on Tottenham’s want-list.
“Held talks” is one of those nebulous English media phrases. Held talks with who? Nice officials? Agents? Intermediaries? The person who answers the phone at the club headquarters? The report doesn’t say. A transfer bid is a transfer bid, but “held talks” could be ANYTHING. It could even be a transfer bid (it’s not a transfer bid)!
All that aside, we know Spurs are going to do everything they can to buy another CB this January. They almost have to — they were thin even before Micky van de Ven pulled his hamstring, and there continue to be rumors that suggest Eric Dier could be leaving the club before his contract expires at the end of this season.
We’ve written on Todibo before, which is where the “entered the race” parlance started. He’s very good. Nothing much has changed there — he appears to be a young defender who could back up either Van de Ven or Cuti Romero. He’s also going to be on the want-list for virtually any big team that needs, or just wants, a central defender over the next few months which makes it pretty dicey that Spurs can actually land him. Manchester United, for example, also need a defender and can probably offer Todibo a lot more money to go there. And there’s still the question as to whether Nice would want to sell him at all in January, considering they’re currently just five points behind PSG in Ligue 1.
Even so, stranger things have happened! Todibo might decide that he likes money a little less than he does being at a hot mess of a club playing under a weirdo manager, or he might end up sold by Big Ange’s pitch. Really, any number of weird things could happen that might convince him to sign for US and not THEM.
But in the end, the rumor is still that we’ve “held talks,” and that’s not very much to hang your hat on quite yet. Me, I’m holding out for at least “entered negotiations.”