After weeks of rumors closely linking FC Schalke 04 and FC Barcelona center back Jean-Clair Todibo, the Royal Blues have reportedly signed the young defender to an 18-month loan deal.
Although AC Milan and other clubs had high interest in top FC Barcelona prospect Jean-Clair Todibo, the impressive France international always look destined to join FC Schalke 04 on a loan deal this January.
Sky Sports is now reporting, via Get Football News Germany, that the club will soon confirm the signing of Todibo from Barca on an 18-month loan deal.
Per Sky’s Dirk Schlarmann, Schalke were able to get Barcelona to include an option to buy in the loan deal, since Die Knappen are understandably high on Todibo and want the option to get him permanently. (The club is also working on signing right back Jonjoe Kenny permanently from Everton.)
However, Barcelona have seen Todibo’s talents first hand and know he can be a future starting center back for La Blaugrana. Therefore, Schlarmann also reports that Barca have included a buy-back option, so that’s an interesting wrinkle to this deal.
Schalke have been pushing for Todibo to join the club as soon as possible, since they need the center back depth. Matija Nastasic still may not be 100 percent, Benjamin Stambouli is coming off a broken boon in his foot, Salif Sane is still injured and emergency option Weston McKennie dislocated his shoulder in December. So the only truly, fully healthy player is young superstar Ozan Kabak.
As colleague Josh Sippie wrote, the center back partnership of Kabak and Todibo could be an absolute dream at the Veltins Arena over the next 18 months and, perhaps, in the years to come if a permanent deal takes place. Given all the young prospects Barcelona are losing out on due to their organizational issues with giving young players proper playing time, it’s not impossible for Todibo to press Barca into a permanent deal with Schalke if all goes well.
But we’re more than a year away from any of that. For now, Schalke have secured the services of an exceptional 20-year-old center back prospect who can immediately help the team. The Royal Blues undoubtedly have the best collection of center backs in the Bundesliga now, and it will be exciting to see how Todibo helps the team in the 2019-2020 title race.