Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Man Utd in defensive dilemma as Victor Lindelof attracts latest exit link and West Ham eye Eric Bailly

Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly

Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly have become the subject of new potential exit routes from Manchester United, according to reports.

Manchester United signed Lisandro Martinez from Ajax earlier this summer. Along with captain Harry Maguire and 2021 arrival Raphael Varane, he will be competing for a place in the centre-back partnership at Old Trafford.

It had been thought that Lindelof would be the fourth player covering in that role. The rest of their options, including Bailly, would be surplus to requirements.

But there may need to be a revision of those plans. Now, Lindelof is attracting transfer interest from elsewhere, as well as Bailly.

According to Corriere Dello Sport, the Sweden international has become a target for Roma, who have dismissed links with his Ivorian teammate.

Ex-United boss Jose Mourinho wants to sign another centre-back for Roma. He was in charge at Old Trafford when United bought Bailly and Lindelof, so could seek a reunion.

It appears Lindelof is the one of their shortlist after all. His contract with Man Utd only has two years remaining on it.

At the age of 28, he may not be ready to settle for a role as fourth in command at his current club. For Roma, he would likely start regularly – alongside ex-Man Utd man, Chris Smalling.

In turn, Bailly may have to find another suitor. Recently, Monaco came forward as a potential provider of an escape route for him.

However, there is a chance that Bailly could remain in the Premier League. According to the Daily Mail, West Ham are monitoring his situation.

Finding a new centre-back is an outstanding task on West Ham’s wish-list. Summer signing Nayef Aguerd has suffered an injury, which means they need further cover.

They have lodged a bid for PSG’s Thilo Kehrer, but are keeping tabs on Bailly while they await the outcome.

If Bailly is to leave Old Trafford, Manchester United would prefer it to be a permanent deal. West Ham prefer Kehrer for now, so it will be interesting to see where each end up.

Can Man Utd afford to lose both Bailly and Lindelof?

It remains to be seen if United would sanction exits for both Lindelof and Bailly this summer. They are both under contract until 2024.

The likes of Phil Jones and Axel Tuanzebe are even further down the pecking order below them. They too could be looking for ways out.

But it is clear that United cannot go through the season with just three senior centre-backs. Therefore, they must pick and choose their outgoing deals carefully, unless they think they can bring in a different backup player.

For now, that does not seem to be their focus at all. Hence, maybe it would make sense to only sanction a departure for one of Bailly or Lindelof.

If not, they may have to think again about any plans for players like Tuanzebe or Jones, who already seemed to have one foot out of the exit door and still look likelier to leave.

It could present an unwanted headache before the September 1 transfer deadline.

READ MORE ~ Manchester United transfer news: Ismaila Sarr under consideration in attack after sensational goal