Jean-Clair Todibo during a performance for Barcelona in La Liga 2019/20 / FRANCESC ADELANTADO
Jean-Clair Todibo during a performance for Barcelona in La Liga 2019/20 / FRANCESC ADELANTADO

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, Schalke’s Head of Sport has admitted that Todibo permanently moving to Schalke has gotten increasingly difficult.

The coronavirus pandemic has affected countries around the world, and has had its effect on the world of football, too.

As deals begin to line up for teams around the world in anticipation of the upcoming transfer window, the financial aspect becomes clearer. With Ivan Rakitic on his way out of Barcelona’s door, Jean-Clair Todibo could be on his way in. That is, unless Schalke trigger their buy option on the Frenchman, who thus far has had a very positive loan spell.

Jean-Clair Todibo has been excellent since he was loaned out by Barcelona to Schalke as a last-minute move in January. Having featured in three out of four games in February, he received the club’s Player of the Month award, receiving 36% of the fans’ votes, after a string of excellent performances shortly after his arrival to Germany.

His adaptation and initiative shown on the pitch has sparked speculation that Schalke could execute their option to buy the Frenchman at the end of the loan spell. The price the German side would pay would be 25 million euros plus 5 million euros in add-ons. This would exceed Schalke’s record signing in 2016, when they bought Breel Embolo from Schalke for 22.5 million euros. Thus, it would be a high price to pay for the German club, and the pandemic which very likely will affect the transfer market has made Schalke doubtful.

When enquired by German news outlet Kicker, Schalke’s Head of Sport, Jochen Schneider, confirmed that the pandemic has decreased the likelihood of Todibo staying with Schalke on a permanent deal, after his loan spell.

“You do not have to be a prophet to [be able to] say that the likelihood [of the buy option on Todibo being triggered] has decreased as a result of the current crisis,” Schneider told the German news outlet Kicker, as published Monday afternoon.

“It is important to take FC Barcelona’s plans into account,” Schneider added.

According to Kicker, Schalke are internally looking into the possibility of extending Todibo’s loan, with a buy option included in the deal. However, this, of course, would need Barcelona’s approval, and with Samuel Umtiti potentially leaving, Todibo could get Setién’s nod after the young defender’s impressive performances for Schalke.

Jean-Clair Todibo’s current contract with Barcelona runs out in 2023, having signed for a symbolic fee of 1 million euros from French side Toulouse in January 2019.