Three Nice players Erik ten Hag could sign as owner Jim Ratcliffe announces Man Utd interest
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Nice owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe has announced his interest in Manchester United, which could present an opportunity for future transfers between the two clubs.
The 70-year-old’s chemical firm Ineos announced it had formally lodged an interest with United’s owners, the Glazers. An Ineos spokesperson said: "We have formally put ourselves into the process.”
United was seen as being put up for sale last year when the club’s controversial American owners ordered a strategic review.
British billionaire Ratcliffe had made no secret of the fact he would be interested in buying the Old Trafford club, having supported United since his childhood.
He also has an active interest in sports, owning the cycling team Ineos Grenadiers, Swiss Super League club FC Lausanne-Sport, and Ligue 1 side Nice.
If Ratcliffe’s interest in United results in the business mogul claiming a majority stake in the club, it could open the door for players to move between Nice and the Premier League giants.
Here are three players United could look to sign.
Khéphren Thuram is the youngest family member of the Thuram footballing dynasty.
His father Lillian won the World Cup in 1998 and is France’s record appearance holder, while his older brother Marcus is a Borussia Monchengladbach striker, who travelled to Qatar as part of Didier Deschamps' squad.
Thuram is primarily a defensive midfielder, with tackling qualities that are complimented by passing and dribbling ability.
However, he can also operate in a more advanced role, having claimed a goal and an assist in the No.10 against Montpellier last week.
Liverpool and Newcastle have been linked with Thuram. Could United also look to sign the 21-year-old?
Jean-Clair Todibo has had a turbulent start to his career, having arrived at Nice permanently via Toulouse and La Liga giants Barcelona.
Since moving to the Cote d’Azur, the 23-year-old has been central to his side’s fortunes, amassing 82 appearances.
While Nice have been in disappointing form this term, Todibo’s performances have been promising.
Both tidy in possession and aggressive in a challenge, the Frenchman has been tipped for the Les Bleus squad in the coming year.
While the centre-back would come at a cost, with his Nice contract running until 2027, he appears to have all the qualities Ten Hag admires in defenders.
Sofiane Diop was signed from Monaco for around £17million, tasked with adding some attacking inspiration to Lucian Favre’s team.
However, the former Leicester manager was sacked last week with Nice 11th in the table, 12 points adrift of the European places.
Diop has also disappointed at his new club, racking up just two goals and three assists since the start of the season.
However, the 22-year-old is one to keep an eye on, having been a star of the France youth ranks.
The left winger, who can also play anywhere across the forward line, has undoubted quality.
He may be too raw for United at present, but he could be worth pursuing in future.
Featured Image Credit: Alamy
Topics: Football, Transfers, Manchester United, Premier League, Nice, Ligue 1