A player reportedly on the radar of Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti has been described by Lothar Matthaus as “the best centre-back” he’s seen in a long time.
Spanish outlet Sport have claimed that the Toffees are “close” to agreeing a deal with Barcelona to sign centre-back Jean-Clair Todibo this summer, for a fee of around £22million.
Todibo joined the Camp Nou from French side Toulouse in January 2019 but after making just five first-team appearances in the Blaugrana, the France Under-20 international was sent out on loan to Schalke earlier this year.
Playing alongside Everton gem Jonjoe Kenny, the 20-year-old has been impressive for the Bundesliga side in his seven appearances prior to the football suspension.
“Todibo is the best centre back I’ve seen in a long time,” the Germany legend and 1990 Ballon D’Or winner told Sport after watching Todibo in action against Inter Milan in the Champions League.
“He would be a good reinforcement for Schalke and an enrichment for the Bundesliga. At 20 he is incredibly calm, he always finds interesting solutions.”
With the global health crisis set to have huge financial implications for football clubs, Sport claims that Barcelona are open to offers for the majority of the players.
With regards to Todibo, Barca are reportedly looking for an up-front fee of around £22million, while Everton are offering £17.5million and the rest in add-ons.
The two clubs are continuing to negotiate but a breakthrough is said to be “close”, while Todibo is open to joining the Toffees, according to the report.
Todibo may not have had much game time for Barca and Schalke but when he’s taken to the pitch, he’s clearly a cut above, and to nullify the likes of Lautaro Martinez and Romelu Lukaku at age 20, as he did in the game Matthaus commented on, is no easy task.
Everton, meanwhile, are expected to bolster their defensive ranks, in particularly centre-half, given that they failed to bring in replacements for Kurt Zouma and Phil Jagielka, while Michael Keane and Yerry Mina haven’t been consistent enough.
If Everton pull this move off, they would be getting their hands on a high-calibre player with much room for growth at a bargain price.