Barcelona starlet Jean-Clair Todibo is reportedly a summer transfer target for Premier League outfit Watford, who are open to a loan or a permanent deal.
According to a report from Spanish publication Sport, Barcelona youngster Jean-Clair Todibo has emerged as a subject of interest from Premier League side Watford, with the Hornets already holding talks with the La Liga champions over the possibility of a transfer.
Todibo, 19, joined Barcelona from Toulouse in the January transfer window. Since then, the Frenchman, who can play as a centre-back or a defensive midfielder, has featured just twice for the Catalans, as the likes of Gerard Pique, Clement Lenglet, Samuel Umtiti and Thomas Vermaelen were ahead of him in the pecking order.
While there has been some uncertainty surrounding the future of Umtiti at Barcelona, even if he ends up leaving the club this summer, Todibo’s first-team opportunities are unlikely to improve anytime soon. More so, if the La Liga champions are able to complete the signing of Ajax captain Matthijs de Ligt, who has been on their radar for a while now.
Watford are hoping to capitalise on the situation by swooping in and signing the 19-year-old who was part of the France squad for the 2019 FIFA Under-20 World Cup that is underway in Poland. The Hornets had a solid 2018-19 campaign, during which they achieved their highest points tally in a Premier League season and made it to the FA Cup final.
Watford manager Javi Gracia will be hoping to build on it this time out, with an aim to break into the top half of the table. The Spaniard is someone who is open to giving chances to young players with potential and that is something that could appeal to Todibo, as he would stand a better chance of featuring more regularly with the Hornets than at Barcelona.
The Premier League side have already opened negotiations with the Catalans over the possibility of a transfer, with Watford owner Gino Pozzo and sporting director Filipo Giraldi holding talks over Barcelona’s plans for Todibo in the coming season. The report adds that Watford are interested in a permanent deal, but would also entertain a loan deal for a year.
Barcelona, however, are unlikely to make a decision on the future of Todibo until their pre-season campaign is out of the way. Manager Ernesto Valverde wants to give the youngster a chance to impress during the pre-season and based on his performances, a call will be taken on whether to integrate with the first-team or loan him out.
It remains to be seen what the future holds for young Todibo, but should Barcelona end up signing de Ligt from Ajax, an exit, either on loan or permanent, would seem the most logical course of action.