Barcelona defender Jean-Clair Todibo’s future is up in the air with Schalke having confirmed their purchase option to sign the Frenchman has expired.
Todibo moved to the Bundesliga side on loan in January for the second half of the season in search of regular game time. The deal also included a purchase option of €25 million, with Barcelona then able to buy him back for €50m, plus €10m in variables.
Schalke sporting director Jochen Schneider has confirmed his club will not be taking up the option. He told Manfred Hendriock at the Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung that the clause has now expired.
Todibo joined Barcelona from Toulouse in January 2019. His current deal at the Camp Nou expires at the end of the 2022-23 season.
What Next for Todibo and Barcelona?
Many Barcelona fans were disappointed to see Todibo leave the club given there are issues in defense. Gerard Pique turned 33 in February and is heading towards the end of his career, while Samuel Umtiti has been plagued by injury problems in recent seasons. Clement Lenglet has proven a reliable option since arriving from Sevilla and is the only other senior center-back in the squad.
Yet Todibo has had little opportunity to impress at the Camp Nou. He managed only three first-team appearances in 2019-20 before leaving for Schalke in the winter transfer window. Todibo did shine in his last appearance for Barcelona, a 2-1 win against Inter Milan in the Champions League.
The 20-year-old has seen game time at Schalke. He’s played 10 times since his move but has failed to shine since the Bundesliga resumed in May. Indeed he was guilty of giving away possession in the build-up to Werder Bremen’s winning goal in Schalke’s 1-0 defeat on Saturday.
Todibo has seemed happy at Schalke. He was asked about his future and told Bild: “I want to finish the season first and secure a good position. As for the future, I can well imagine staying at Schalke.”
Barcelona to Cash In on Todibo?
Barcelona may be short of defensive back-up but there’s no guarantee Todibo will stay when he returns from Schalke. Sport’s Lluís Miguelsanz has reported Barcelona view the defender as a “gold mine” because he arrived for free but could command a transfer fee of around €25m.
A number of clubs have already been linked with the 20-year-old including Everton, Juventus and Roma. Bayer Leverkusen and AC Milan are also interested, while Barca could also use him in a swap deal with Juventus or Inter Milan, according to Roger Torello at Mundo Deportivo.
Schalke may also try to keep him at the Veltins-Arena on loan for another season but would have to negotiate a new deal with Barcelona first.