Barcelona bring forward signing of Jean-Clair Todibo

BARCELONA, SPAIN - APRIL 05: A club crest is seen prior to the UEFA Champions League quarter final first leg match between FC Barcelona and Club Atletico de Madrid at Camp Nou on April 5, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Toulouse centre-back Jean-Clair Todibo’s arrival at Barcelona has been brought forward, despite having previously agreed to wait until the summer.

The Catalan giants previously announced they had signed Todibo for next season on a free transfer from Ligue 1 side Toulouse as his contract was up in June.

After lengthy negotiations with Toulouse, however, Barcelona have now confirmed that the 19-year-old will instead arrive six months earlier than planned with Toulouse set to receive a small transfer fee as compensation.

The French youngster will take the No. 6 jersey at Barcelona, which was previously worn by midfielder Denis Suarez before he left for Arsenal on a loan deal on Thursday.

“FC Barcelona and Toulouse FC have come to an agreement over the French player Jean-Clair Todibo, with whom the Blaugrana had agreed a transfer from July 1 2019,” read a statement on the club website.

“The agreement signed includes the immediate arrival of the French player, who will sign a contract with the club for the next four and a half seasons, until the end of the 2022-23 campaign.

“The French player will wear the number six. A shirt which players like Guillermo Amor, Xavi Hernandez, Dani Alves and Denis Suarez, the last to use it, have worn.”

Todibo is regarded as one of Europe’s most exciting young talents and has already represented France at U20 level.

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Since graduating through the youth ranks at Toulouse, Todibo had inserted himself as a key member of the squad after debuting in club’s 2-1 win over rivals Bordeaux in August during the Derby de la Garonne.

Todibo had since made a further nine league appearances and scored his first goal for the senior team in a 1-1 draw at Rennes in September.

But the teenager found himself forced out of the squad after refusing to sign a new contract, which opened the door for an early exit.

Todibo will be presented as a Barcelona player later today.