Barcelona showed “arrogance” and did not “behave like a big club” by signing Toulouse’s Jean-Clair Todibo for nothing, the French side’s president has said.
Barca confirmed on Tuesday that Todibo, 19, would join them in July when his contract with Toulouse expires. The centre-back, who only made his first-team debut earlier this season and has made just 10 top-flight appearances, has not played for Toulouse since early November after refusing to sign his first professional contract with them.
That means Barcelona will pick up the France under-20 international on a free, leaving Toulouse president Olivier Sadran furious.
“They haven’t behaved like a big club,” he told L’Equipe. “And also, it’s extraordinary: they declare the player will be with them in July, but I don’t know anyone who knows what will happen in six months.
“Life can spring surprises on you, even the most uncomfortable ones. It shows their arrogance, it’s to insult life to say what we will do. From a big club, it’s not very gracious, even if — legally — they had the right to do it. We also have some of the responsibility.”
Sadran also suggested Barca had not fulfilled their duty to a club like Toulouse, who have developed Todibo only to see him leave with no return on their investment.
“For me, football is an ecosystem where each club plays its role,” he said. “There are big clubs, clubs that bring through youngsters … From my point of view, the player has been badly advised in the sense he has 10 ten Ligue 1 matches under his belt. Barca also haven’t lived up to what they should be.”
Todibo will team up with fellow French defenders Samuel Umtiti and Clement Lenglet at the Camp Nou in the summer, though his agent, Bruno Satin, told RMC “contact has been made to bring forward his arrival” to this winter.
“No comment, but you can bet on the fact he’ll be with us until June,” was Sadran’s response on the matter.
“He’s a player with a lot of qualities, but who doesn’t have any experience. It’s like that, I’m not bitter … His agent did what was necessary, but is Barcelona really the best choice for him? I’m not convinced.”