According to Footmercato, Rennes have pulled out of the race to sign Barcelona’s Jean-Clair Todibo leaving Everton, Fulham and Napoli in a three-way battle.

The Barcelona defender spent last season on loan at Schalke in the Bundesliga.

The German club couldn’t afford to pay his optional purchase clause in that deal, leaving Barcelona trying to find another potential suitor ahead of the deadline.

Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

A report this week by Le10sport claimed Everton, Napoli and Rennes were bidding for his signature, with the player to make a decision on his imminent future shortly.

But now, fresh reports from Footmercato claim Rennes have pulled out.

The French editorial doesn’t explain why Rennes have given up on their top summer priority, but they cite Fulham as taking their place in the race for the former Toulouse man.

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Fulham have started their Premier League campaign with back-to-back defeats.

Scott Parker’s side have been too easy to score against. First Arsenal won 3-0 at Craven Cottage, before fellow promoted side Leeds United beat them 4-3 at Elland Road.

Seven goals conceded in two games is worrying, and Fulham won’t want a repeat of their 2018-19 campaign which saw them concede 81 goals on the way to relegation.

A new centre-back must be a priority for the Whites ahead of the deadline.

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Todibo, 22, is quick, strong in the tackle and reads the game well. He could be ideal for Fulham, though other reports suggest Everton are pushing for him too.

The Independent reported earlier last Friday that the Toffees are in talks to sign Todibo on loan, but Barcelona are refusing to sanction a deal which does not contain an obligation-to-buy clause of around £18 million.

Premier League top scorers 2019/20

  1. Jamie Vardy – Leicester

    23

  2. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – Arsenal

    22

  3. Danny Ings – Southampton

    22

  4. Raheem Sterling – Manchester City

    20

  5. Mohamed Salah – Liverpool

    19

In other news, Confirmed Arsenal lineup this evening: Gabriel starts, Partey only on the bench