UEFA rule halts Frech defender’s Manchester United move, hurts Barcelona finances

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France's defender Jean-Clair Todibo arrives in Clairefontaine-en-Yvelines on November 13, 2023 as part of the team's preparation for the upcoming UEFA Euro 2024 football tournament qualifying matches.
Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

For the last few years, FC Barcelona have been looking at the situation of one of their former defenders, Jean Claire Todibo, who continues to be linked with a move away from his current club, OGC Nice, and on whom the Catalans have a right to obtain 20% of any transfer fee paid.

Despite him being linked with different clubs over the years, it seemed like a move would materialize at last this summer, with Manchester United having been trying to sign him for several months now. In recent days, it was expected that the defender would complete a €40 million move to England, with Barcelona receiving €8 million.

However, as Mundo Deportivo has reported, this move has been dropped once again because of a UEFA rule that prevents the two clubs from undertaking a transfer of the player. This rule is related to the ownership of clubs.

The INEOS Group, with Sir Jim Ratcliffe as the head, acquired OGC Nice in 2019, but their biggest dream was to own the Premier League side, Manchester United. They achieved this dream in December 2023, as they obtained 27.7% ownership of the English club, in a complex arrangement that also involved Qatar.

Last season, the Red Devils had a rather underwhelming Premier League season, but were able to qualify for the UEFA Europa League as they won the FA Cup. Nice has also qualified for this competition by finishing 5th in Ligue 1.

According to UEFA Regulations, two clubs with the same ownership cannot compete in the same competition, unless it can be proven that the decision-making powers of both the clubs are in separate hands. However, there are legal loopholes that allowed entities like Red Bird Group and Red Bull Group to overcome this regulation in the past.

But the regulation that prevents the transfer of players between two such clubs is more difficult to overcome, which has led to the cancellation of the Todibo operation, and has left FC Barcelona without their much desired €8 million.

Ahmad Sarmad Ansari
Ahmad Sarmad Ansari
Ahmad Sarmad Ansari has been covering Spanish football as a writer for Barca News Network for the last one and a half year and as an amateur football fanatic for more than 10 years. He mainly covers on and off-field happenings taking place at Barcelona including transfer news, administrative changes, match reports, and any other eventful news coming out of the club.

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