Can Schalke extend Jean-Clair Todibo’s loan in 2020?

FC Schalke 04 loan signing Jean-Clair Todibo was the team’s best player in the month of March, but his future with the club is a complete unknown.

When FC Schalke 04 signed center back Jean-Clair Todibo from FC Barcelona, fans were immediately excited about the prospect of both adding such a talented young player to the squad for the 2019-2020 season and potentially signing him permanently.

However, it’s now unclear if the Royal Blues can afford to sign Todibo from Barça, even though he’s shown that he’s indeed worth the money and can be one of the best defenders in European football in the not-so-distant future.

According to a report from Kicker, via Bulinews.com’s Laura Brandt, Schalke still want to keep Todibo beyond the 2019-2020 season and will attempt to extend their loan deal with Barcelona. La Blaugrana have the French center back signed through the 2022-2023 season, so it is realistic for the Royal Blues to try and get more contributions from the developing defender.

Die Knappen’s head of sport Jochen Schneider admitted to Kicker that the chances of signing Todibo permanently have decreased, but extending the loan deal both gives the Royal Blues more short-term games from the player, as well as more time to restore their chances of assembling enough money to sign him permanently.

The 20-year-old rising star’s release clause would cost about 30 million euros.

An all-action center back with great skill on the ball and quality in the tackle, Todibo can even play as a defensive midfielder. It’s been invaluable to have him on the team, and Schalke could have a scary duo of young center backs in Todibo and breakout star Ozan Kabak, who was signed permanently from VfB Stuttgart in the summer of 2019.

If the Royal Blues can’t keep Todibo, they would still be loaded at center back, as they’ll have Kabak ready to combine with Salif Sane, who is also one of Europe’s best defenders. Benjamin Stambouli’s future is unclear, but he’s also been a huge asset for Die Knappen, as has Kabak and Todibo’s usual partner in 2019-2020, Matija Nastasic.

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Todibo’s future is unclear, but Schalke should like their chances of getting another year out of him from Barcelona. That said, La Blaugrana could use another center back and were likely impressed by what Todibo did for Schalke. Still, they can’t guarantee him playing time with other established standouts at the position, whereas the Royal Blues can give him plenty of more high-quality minutes in the increasingly exciting Bundesliga.