Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s takeover of Manchester United could help Erik ten Hag secure a stunning replacement for Raphael Varane.

Britain’s richest man is understood to be closing in on a £1.3billion dea l to acquire 25% of the Premier League giants. And with Ratcliffe taking over the Red Devils’ football operations, he can aid the Old Trafford club return to greatness with more than just his vast wealth in the transfer market.

The 71-year-old also happens to own French side Nice, which he bought in 2019. Daily Star Sport reported on Wednesday that United manager Ten Hag has already identified the Ligue 1 club’s central defender Jean-Clair Todibo as one of two potential replacements for the injury prone Varane, who he will look to offload next summer.

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Ratcliffe’s involvement in a bid for Todibo would undoubtedly make United frontrunners to sign the French talent without paying a fortune - as they have done so many times in recent years - while ensuring the deal between his two clubs goes smooth-sailing.

Varane - who this year retired at international level for France - has played just 75 games for United since his move from Real Madrid in 2021. That has forced Ten Hag to often field players he played no part in signing, such as Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire.

Do you think Man Utd should sign Todibo? Let us know in the comments section.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe at Old Trafford, home of Manchester United. Manchester United owners, the Glazer family, announced last November they were conducting a strategic review, with the sale of United one option being considered. Qatari banker Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani and INEOS founder Sir Jim Ratcliffe have bid to buy United, with both parties visiting the club this week. Picture date: Friday March 17, 2023.
Sir Jim Ratcliffe also owns Ligue 1 club Nice
Jean Clair TODIBO of OGC Nice during the Ligue 1 Uber Eats match between Clermont Foot 63 and Olympique Gymnaste Club Nice at Stade Gabriel Montpied on October 27, 2023 in Clermont-Ferrand, France.
Jean-Clair Todibo has impressed in central defence for Nice

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And with his best years ahead of him, Todibo, 23, is a clear successor to Varane, having broken into Didier Deschamps’ France set-up this year. He’s featured 11 times already in Ligue 1, delivering on the promise which prompted Barcelona to sign him back in July 2019 - before enduring an ill-fated spell at the Camp Nou.

Speaking of the disappointing spell which saw him make just five appearances over two seasons, Todibo said: "Because I didn't play for Barcelona, people said I had failed. I learned from my failure, and I prefer my story to be like that and not all rosy.

NICE, FRANCE - NOVEMBER 18: Jean-Clair Todibo of France in action during the UEFA EURO 2024 European qualifier match between France and Gibraltar at Allianz Riviera stadium on November 18, 2023 in Nice, France.
Jean-Clair Todibo has managed to earn call-ups for France thanks to his displays

"[At Nice] I feel confident and loved. Everything is clear about the fact that I could finally express myself and play my football.

"I talk a lot with Lilian Thuram. He is someone I respect. He played in my position, so I talk to him."