OK, now we’re getting somewhere. The transfer rumor linking Tottenham Hotspur with a January move for France and Nice central defender Jean-Clair Todibo has progressed through all the standard steps, from “in the race” to the nebulous “held talks,” and now — positively! — we’re in the “active negotiations” phase.
And that’s good! According to Dan Kilpatrick in the Evening Standard, Spurs are actively negotiating for Todibo’s signature in January, and Nice are considering letting him go for the right price. That price is said to be “north of” £35m. How MUCH north of that isn’t clear, but anywhere around there feels like a pretty dang good price for a mid-season acquisition of a player who could be an important part of Spurs’ back line for years to come.
Kilpatrick also spends a bit of time reassuring Spurs fans that Jim Ratcliffe will not interfere if Spurs and Nice come to an accord. Ratcliffe is Nice’s owner and is also in the process of negotiating the purchase a minority stake in Manchester United, another club with significant interest in Todibo.
This is all positive stuff, but before you get too excited, recall that Todibo is on the lists of a lot of major clubs. He’s a big talent. Dank P’s article specifically notes AC Milan, Bayern Munich, Liverpool, and United as having interest. So there’s a danger that Tottenham’s early negotiations here will basically serve as price discovery before one of the bigger clubs swoop in and try and outbid Spurs for his services.
That said, maybe not! Weirder things have happened, and if Ange has sold Todibo on the idea of playing for him at Spurs, getting him in early in January would be fantastic. The article states that Spurs have promised him a significant role in defense alongside Cuti Romero and Micky van de Ven, which is absolutely correct seeing as how there’s no way both of them can or will play in every match. We’ve talked before about how Todibo can in theory play on both sides of central defense, which would give Ange some flexibility in how he wants to set up.
But really, Spurs just desperately need another body back there. Todibo is more than just a body of course, but now’s the time to swing for the fences. Landing him would be a coup.