Chelsea have not been afraid to splash the cash under Todd Boehly as they have flexed their financial muscle with signings all across the pitch to bolster the squad. The Blues spent £115m on Moises Caicedo last summer and splashed out £52m on Christopher Nkunku, £38.8m on Axel Disasi and £32m on Nicolas Jackson, among others, for Mauricio Pochettino.
Ligue 1 has been a popular hunting ground for Boehly as the likes of Disasi, Benoit Badiashile, Lesley Ugochukwu, and Malo Gusto have all come in from the French top-flight over the past 18 months or so. The Blues owner is now pursuing a deal to sign another defensive-minded player from France this month to improve Pochettino’s options at the back.
Chelsea’s pursuit of a new centre-back
Chelsea have already signed Disasi and Badisahile from Ligue 1 to bolster their array of centre-backs but they are now looking at a third arrival from Ligue 1 in that position. According to Telefoot, the Blues are keen on a swoop to sign Nice colossus Jean-Clair Todibo and Boehly is battling it out with Premier League rivals Tottenham Hotspur and Italian giants Napoli to land his signature.
The report claims that discussions have already been held between the club and the player’s representatives ahead of a possible switch to Stamford Bridge. However, the two sides they are in competition with have also gone down that route to test the water.
Unfortunately for Chelsea, Napoli, and Spurs, Nice are rejecting any advances this month and a winter transfer is very unlikely. All three clubs will need to wait until the end of the season before they can strike an agreement to land his signature.
Nice-Matin, as relayed by GFFN, recently reported that the Ligue 1 club value the former Barcelona giant at €60m (£51m), which provides an insight into how much he could cost in the summer.
Todibo’s impressive performances for Nice
The 24-year-old, who was hailed as “underrated” by talent scout Jacek Kulig, ace has caught the eye with his impressive displays at the heart of the Nice defence this season. He has showcased his quality as an out-and-out defender whilst also being able to make an impact with his progressive play in possession.
2023/24 Ligue 1
Jean-Clair Todibo (via Sofascore)
Tackles per game
Interceptions per game
Ball recoveries per game
As you can see from the table above, Todibo can win the ball back for his frequently throughout matches in the French top-flight by cutting out opposition attacks with his ability to make tackles, interceptions, and recoveries.
The France international has also been a fantastic outlet for his side on the ball. He currently ranks within the top 16% of Ligue 1 centre-backs for progressive passes per 90 (4.84) and the top 4% for shot-creating actions per 90 (1.47).
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This shows that he has been well above the average when it comes to progressing the ball up the pitch to build up attacks that result in shots at the opposition’s goal. It now remains to be seen whether or not Chelsea will be able to bring his defensive and offensive qualities to Stamford Bridge at the end of the season amid competition from Spurs and Napoli.