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Five Ligue 1 players new Man Utd owners could pursue this summer

Manchester United could be one of the main protagonists of the upcoming transfer window if the long-awaited takeover goes through by the end of the season. 

Even though the Glazers have identified British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe as their preferred bidder for the Red Devils takeover, the long-standing saga is still far from its conclusion. 

Fans are desperate for this charade over the club’s sale to end as soon as possible so the club can go down to business and draw a recruitment plan ahead of the summer transfer window. 

Ligue 1 has recently emerged as a talent factory, as we look at the five potential targets the new Man United owners could pursue at the end of the season. 

#5 Jean-Clair Todibo

Since swapping Barcelona for Nice in 2022, Todibo has developed into one of the most highly-rated defenders in France’s top flight, recently attracting interest from Man Utd and Newcastle United.

According to Fabrizio Romano, the French side could part company with the 23-year-old in the summer, although it may take up to €45 million to convince them to sell. 

Recent injuries to Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane have exposed United’s lack of strength in depth, leaving Erik ten Hag with underperforming Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof as the only two out-and-out centre-backs. 

With the club already looking to offload both long-serving underachievers, the arrival of a new central defender looks inevitable, and Todibo could be a viable option. 

#4 Khephren Thuram

Another Nice star that has generated plenty of interest from the Premier League is the son of the legendary Lilian Thuram, Khephren. 

Closely followed by Manchester City, Liverpool and Paris Saint-Germain, the up-and-coming box-to-box midfielder could be a subject of a transfer tug-of-war in the summer.

Having made over 100 appearances for Les Aiglons since moving from Monaco in 2019, the 22-year-old has earned a place in the France national team, becoming one of the hottest properties in the market. 

With Christian Eriksen dealing with recurring injury problems and Fred and Scott McTominay performing below the Man Utd level, adding a new midfielder could be at the top of United’s priorities in the next few months.

#3 Branco van den Boomen

Speaking of the Red Devils’ pursuit of a new midfield metronome, the outgoing Toulouse playmaker van den Boomen is an intriguing prospect.

After refusing to renew his contract, the Dutchman will depart Stadium de Toulouse as a free agent in the summer, already drawing interest from Aston Villa and Leeds United, among others. 

Van den Boomen has been one of the most creative players in Ligue 1 this term, racking up six goals and eight assists to help his side secure survival on their top-flight return. 

At 27, he has just entered his peak years and could be a decent option for Man United, especially considering his potential move to Old Trafford won’t cost a dime. 

#2 Terem Moffi

Unlike van den Boomen, the Red Devils would likely have to allocate substantial funds to persuade Nice to sanction Terem Moffi’s permanent sale. 

However, addressing his team’s growing scoring problems is one of ten Hag’s most significant tasks going into the summer after Anthony Martial and Wout Weghorst failed to live up to expectations. 

Moffi has gone from strength to strength in Ligue 1 this term, amassing 16 goals in 29 league appearances for Lorient and Nice, a side he joined on a short-term loan in January. 

But with Les Aiglons having an obligation to buy him for €30m at the end of the season, Man United would need to table an attractive offer to lure him away from the French Riviera.

#1 Jonathan David

When it comes to the most expensive Ligue 1 strikers plying their trade outside the Parc des Princes, Lille talisman David must be the number one. 

Ever since leaving Belgian outfit Gent to team up with Les Dogues in 2020, the Canadia international has been a magnet for wild transfer speculation linking him with numerous top destinations in Europe.

Old Trafford is one of them after the Red Devils added the 23-year-old to their shopping list six months ago before deciding to go for Weghorst for some unknown reason.

Ten Hag is already aware of his mistake in the winter transfer window and could rekindle his interest in David to put Man Utd’s scoring difficulties to bed once and for all.