Barcelona and Toulouse have reached a preliminary agreement for Jean-Clair Todibo to join the Catalan side on deadline day, despite initially agreeing a summer switch.
Earlier this month, Barcelona pipped Real Madrid to reach a pre-contract agreement for the highly-rated French defender to join them for free when his contract expires next summer.
However, it was reported earlier this week that Barcelona were pushing to bring the move forwards to January, and Marca reports that Toulouse have reluctantly agreed to let Todibo leave six months earlier than planned.
❗️ Barça are about to incorporate Todibo. The French centre-back will travel to Barcelona today and his official presentation is scheduled for tomorrow. [rac1] pic.twitter.com/achU4WklZI
— Barça Centre (@barcacentre) January 31, 2019
Barcelona will have to pay a small fee, likely to be in the region of €2m, to fast track the transfer, and Todibo is expected to complete his move in the coming hours.
The decision was made to sign Todibo early as Barcelona have suffered a number of defensive injury problems this season and don’t want to be short on options as they compete on three fronts in the coming months.
Samuel Umtiti has not played since November after undergoing knee surgery and Thomas Vermaelen has only recently returned from a hamstring injury.
Barcelona’s other central defensive options are Gerard Pique, Clement Lenglet and Jeison Murillo. Murillo joined on loan from Valencia at the start of January.
With the Champions League resuming in two weeks and a Copa del Rey semi-final to look forward to, Ernesto Valverde will need as much strength in depth as he can get for the remainder of the season.
Having only made ten appearances for Toulouse, Todibo is still very inexperienced and unlikely to feature much for Barcelona this season, but this early move will speed up his integration process.