Kobbie Mainoo and Bruno Fernandes have been hailed as the heroes, who scripted Manchester United’s win over Manchester City in the FA Cup final, and rightly so.

However, another Man United pair — Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane — played an equally important role in the Wembley triumph, helping the side keep the likes of Erling Haaland and Phil Foden at bay.

The return of the trusted centre-back partnership to the starting lineup certainly had a transformative impact, leaving fans thinking about what could have been had they played together more often this season.

As such, heading into this summer’s transfer window, INEOS should do their best to bring in a new centre-back, who can instil the same level of confidence next season. Interestingly, they do not even have to look too far to find the right man.

Jean-Clair Todibo, who plays for INEOS-owned Nice, has once again emerged as one of Ligue 1’s most reliable central defenders, playing a key part in the side’s impeccable defensive record. Nice conceded fewer goals than PSG in the league this term.

The 24-year-old star has been on the radar of Europe’s biggest clubs, including United and Tottenham Hotspur for a long time. United were interested in the player last summer and the North London outfit made an approach in January. Speaking about their interest, he told The Telegraph:

“Honestly, I don’t want to talk about [my future] because of my respect for the fans here and the club also. But we had a little discussion, for sure.”

This was not the first time he crossed paths with United. Before moving to Toulouse in 2016, he had a trial in Manchester. “It was a good experience. I discovered a little bit what the professional world was like,” he recalled.

The Telegraph report adds that United “may come calling again” for Todibo. Considering his physical prowess and technical ability in possession, it would not be wise to not explore the opportunity again.

Todibo also appears ready for a bigger challenge this summer, as he added: “My ambition is to play in the best competitions in the world and try to be the best version of me.”

While the INEOS connection may help United get their hands on Todibo, it might also put their European football prospects in jeopardy.

As per the Telegraph, Sir Jim Ratcliffe has until Monday to satisfy UEFA that United and Nice should be allowed to feature in the Europa League next season.

However, the Peoples Person relayed a report claiming INEOS are confident this will not impact the FA Cup winners’ European hopes, as they only own a minority share in the club.

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