Manchester United are edging ahead of Tottenham in the race for Nice defender Jean-Clair Todibo, thanks to Sir Jim Ratcliffe.

That’s according to Tuttomercatoweb, who say that Ratcliffe could hand the player to Manchester United and stop Tottenham from getting him.

They explain that the defender has ended up on the radar of several sides this season thanks to his performances for Nice under manager Francesco Farioli.

The latest club to join the growing list of suitors is Tottenham, who are keen to keep strengthening Ange Postecoglou’s squad. The centre of defence is a particular area of weakness with injuries and suspensions to the likes of Micky van de Ven and Cristian Romero highlighting that in recent weeks.

That’s seemingly led them to looking at Todibo, who is valued at €115m by the French side, but any negotiation ‘could be complicated by a significant obstacle’ and that is Sir Jim Ratcliffe.

Nice are part of the group of clubs owned by himself and INEOS and the belief is that given his potential arrival at Manchester United, where he’s set to become a minority shareholder, he could block Todibo going to Spurs.

They don’t explain why that would be the case but with it reported that Ratcliffe will be in charge of football operations at Old Trafford, it would certainly make sense if transfers fall under that.

Thus selling a key player from one of his other clubs to a top four rival would be strange, particularly if he is also a player Manchester United think can bolster their own ranks.

We’ll take this with a pinch of salt for now as it does feel like TMW putting two and two together and getting a story, but it’s certainly something worth considering if Tottenham and United do end up doing battle for Todibo’s signature.