Liverpool, Juventus Reportedly Monitoring Toulouse Youngster Jean-Clair Todibo

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistNovember 13, 2018

Toulouse's French defender Jean-Clair Todibo (C) celebrates after scoring a goal  during the French L1 football match Rennes vs Toulouse, on September 30, 2018 at the Roazhon Park stadium in Rennes, western France. (Photo by LOIC VENANCE / AFP)        (Photo credit should read LOIC VENANCE/AFP/Getty Images)

Liverpool and Juventus are reportedly interested in signing Toulouse defender Jean-Clair Todibo, who could leave the French club for free when his contract expires next summer.

The 18-year-old has started 10 games for Toulouse this season, and Tuttosport (h/t Sport Witness) reported the Reds and Juve are joined by Lyon, Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig in their interest.

Toulouse's other option is to sell Todibo in January for a cut-price figure rather than lose him for nothing after June.

Sport Witness referred to an earlier report from La Depeche, which said Todibo is still yet to sign the contract he's been offered by Toulouse, which would be his first professional deal.

However, it hasn't gone down well at the Stadium Municipal that the teenager has held off so long, and Todibo has since been demoted as a result, per Goal's Robin Bairner:

Robin Bairner @RBairner

Promising Toulouse youngster Jean-Clair Todibo (10 Ligue 2 starts this season) has been sent to the 'B' team over his refusal to sign a professional deal with the club.

The youngster was promoted to Toulouse's first team earlier this year as a replacement for Issa Diop, who completed a move to West Ham United in the summer and is now impressing in the Premier League.

There's a chance Todibo has seen the quick progress of his French compatriot and has backed himself to complete a similar move away from the Ligue 1 outfit in the near future.

Liverpool have a strong centre-back corps as things stand. They made Virgil van Dijk the most expensive defender in the world when he joined for £75 million in January, while Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip are other experienced heads in Jurgen Klopp's squad.

Joe Gomez, 21, has also excelled this term, although Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher highlighted Van Dijk as their real gem:

Sky Sports MNF @SkySportsMNF

Virgil van Dijk one of the best players in the league? Darren Fletcher has no doubt. 👊 He also explains how the @LFC centre-back could have ended up at @WBA...👀 Watch #MNF with @Carra23 and Darren Flecher live on Sky Sports Premier League now! https://t.co/Pu496D1spu https://t.co/GwyVZ31SDL

It's difficult to see where a young talent like Todibo fits in among that competition, especially if it is Diop's trajectory he's hoping to replicate at his next club.

The situation is similar in Turin, although Juventus have more pressing need to refresh their squad. Giorgio Chiellini, 34, and Leonardo Bonucci, 31, are the centre-backs of choice, which often leaves Medhi Benatia, 31, and Daniele Rugani, 24, fighting for minutes.

What's more, there's the ageing figure of 37-year-old Andrea Barzagli, whose deal expires in June, although sports writer David Amoyal joked he's got a lot of life left in his playing days yet:

David Amoyal @DavidAmoyal

Father Time is undefeated even when up against a great defender like Barzagli

Todibo must first reclaim his place in Toulouse's plans if he's to capitalise on the reported interest from Liverpool and Juventus, though, and he could prove to be of major value if allowed to move for free next summer.