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Jean-Clair Todibo says goodbye to Barcelona after completing Benfica loan deal

FC Barcelona v Gimnastic de Tarragona - Pre-Season Friendly
FC Barcelona v Gimnastic de Tarragona - Pre-Season Friendly
Varun Totadri
Modified 08 Oct 2020, 19:04 IST

French defender Jean-Clair Todibo has sent a message to Barcelona fans after completing a deadline day move to Portuguese side Benfica.

Barcelona confirmed Todibo's departure on Monday and initially stated that Todibo had joined Benfica on a two-year loan deal, but have since updated their report to say it is just for the 2020-21 season.

Todibo joined Barcelona from French side Toulouse on a free transfer. Todibo only spent one season as a senior professional with Toulouse, playing just 10 games before making the switch to Barcelona in the summer of 2019.

Todibo was loaned out during the second half of the 2019-20 season to Bundesliga club FC Schalke 04. Schalke had to option to buy Todibo for €25 million plus another €5 million in add-ons but chose not to pursue the deal.

Barcelona have now loaned out the 20-year-old center-back to Benfica in the hope that Todibo will gain valuable game time and develop into a future Barcelona star.

Jean-Clair Todibo joins Benfica on a one-year loan with an option to buy at the end of the season

FC Barcelona v Sevilla FC - La Liga
FC Barcelona v Sevilla FC - La Liga

Todibo took to social media after his move to Benfica, writing a thank you note to the Barcelona faithful. Todibo said:

"I would like to thank all the fans for the support I have received throughout my stay at the club, from the signing of my first professional contract to my first minutes at the Camp Nou. I also want to extend this thanks to my formidable team-mates."
"It has been a pleasure and a dream to play for FC Barcelona. The time has come to say goodbye so I will continue growing and achieve new challenges as a player. I hope to see you very soon. Thank you all," said Todibo.

Barcelona have reportedly been keen to sell Todibo in order to raise funds to sign their former youth-product Eric Garcia from Manchester City. Eric Garcia was keen on a move back to the Catalan giants this summer, but a deal failed to materialise.

Barcelona are likely to return for Eric Garcia in January, in the hopes of finally completing a deal for the defender. However, Barcelona are going through a tough financial period at the moment, and will have to offload some players in order to make in the squad, and fund a move for Garcia.

Benfica reportedly have the option to sign Jean-Clair Todibo at the end of his loan spell for €20 million, which will give Barcelona the money they need to balance the books if they sign Eric Garcia from Manchester City.

Published 08 Oct 2020, 19:04 IST
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