Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Confidence growing that Man Utd will ship defender out for free as Ten Hag makes up his mind on flop

Eric Bailly, Harry Maguire, Manchester United, February 2020

Real Betis reportedly believe Manchester United will allow defender Eric Bailly to leave for free, as they’re hopeful they’ll be able to land him.

In seven years since he joined United, Bailly has never really had a consistent role. That he’s played just 113 times in that period highlights that.

The most Premier League appearances he made in one season were 25, coming in his first campaign.

Since then, other players have been preferred to him in the centre-back position. So much so of late that the Ivorian was loaned out to Marseille last season.

That owes to the fact that ahead of him in the pecking order were: Lisandro Martinez, Raphael Varane, Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof, and even left-back Luke Shaw, who was deployed in the centre at points in the season.

Bailly hardly pulled up any trees during his spell in France. The centre-back played 23 times in all competitions – 17 of those in the league – and also got himself suspended for five games in the middle of the season.

His failure to impress has meant Marseille don’t want to sign him, and multiple reports have suggested United aren’t too enamoured with the prospect of keeping him around.

As such, it seems he may be in limbo for a little while, given he has a year left on his contract at Old Trafford.

Real Betis confident Bailly available for nothing

However, Spanish side Real Betis have registered an interest in him. It’s been suggested due to Ten Hag’s desire to ship him out, he’ll be available to them for ‘almost free’ this summer.

An update on that suggests Betis think that Bailly will be able to join for absolutely nothing.

Indeed, AS reports the side are confident that United will ‘let him go for free’ and even ‘pay a good part of his salary’. Indeed, if his contract, or part of it, was to be paid off, he may accept lower terms to leave the club.

Betis are keen on Bailly as they feel he’s an ‘experienced defender’ that could be useful to them.

That’s after they sold Edgar Gonzalez to Almeria, and are as such looking for an ideal replacement.

Spanish move good for Bailly

A move to Spain could be a good one for Bailly to find his feet again. The centre-back played 52 senior games in Spain, spread across spells at Espanyol and Villarreal.

The most league appearances he’s made in a season were in his last season at the latter (equal to his first season at United).

Clearly, his performances then were enough to convince the Red Devils to spend around £32.5million on him.

As such, a return to Spain could be just what he needs to get some consistency back. With that being said, he may hope United do allow him the chance to move to Betis.

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