Man Utd have a clear opportunity to begin the Sir Jim Ratcliffe era with a £34m transfer.

This article contains affiliate links, and we will receive a commission from any sales generated through them. Man Utd have an open goal for Jean-Clair Todibo.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS will consider recording a successful first summer transfer window in charge of football operations at Manchester United as crucial. The Red Devils’ new kingpin can make a perfect start by addressing one of Erik ten Hag’s most prominent problem positions with a straightforward deal.

Ratcliffe is expected to commence his rebuild with a ruthless exodus as United find themselves needing to sell to buy, with Financial Fair Play limitations rife. Several likely departures would free up transfer funds and space on the wage bill to help Ten Hag – or a new manager – upgrade a squad that is at risk of producing the club’s worst-ever Premier League season.

Raphael Varane and Anthony Martial are among those almost certain to leave, joining Tom Heaton and Jonny Evans out of contract in June. Replacing the former will be a priority, and Ratcliffe has the opportunity to solve that problem with a minimum of fuss in the early stages of the window.

One tool United have this summer that they haven’t had before is a sister club in INEOS-owned OGC Nice, and the Ligue 1 outfit can offer a perfect successor to Varane. Since leaving Barcelona for the south of France in 2021, Jean-Clair Todibo has flourished into one of Europe’s most highly-rated centre-backs.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe can use his Nice links at Man Utd. United have been strongly linked with a potential swoop, which is perhaps to be expected considering the easy connection with the club’s new co-owner.

But the Old Trafford giants’ interest was present before Ratcliffe secured a 27.7 per cent stake in February. Todibo was featured on Ten Hag’s shortlist of possible alternatives to Harry Maguire last summer before the former United captain’s £30 million move to West Ham United collapsed.

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