Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Eric Bailly gets escape route from Old Trafford, though disagreement could see Man Utd block exit

Man Utd centre-back Eric Bailly

Monaco have emerged as a credible contender to bring the Man Utd career of Eric Bailly to a close, though why his move could be blocked has been revealed by the French press.

The Ivory coast centre-half, 28, made just seven appearances across all competitions for Manchester United last term. Bailly signed a new contract extension at the back end of the year prior, though that decision now has the hallmarks of a mistake.

Indeed, Lisandro Martinez’s arrival has bumped Bailly even further down the pecking order. At best, he is now a lowly fifth-choice.

Bailly has repeatedly been named as a player the Red Devils are open to cashing in on this summer. According to French outlet L’Equipe, an escape route is emerging.

Via the Daily Mail, it’s reported Ligue 1 powerhouse Monaco are interesting in pulling the trigger to sign Bailly.

Monaco are revamping their backline and are on the cusp of acquiring Chelsea defender Malang Sarr.

Sarr will join on a loan with a £12.6m option to buy and Monaco are seeking a similar structure of deal for Bailly.

However, the report claims United are instead searching for a permanent buyer. As such, they are ‘opposed’ to letting Bailly leave on loan.

That is presumably because United want to generate immediate funds to reinvest in arrivals this window.

Frenkie de Jong remains their top target, while Marko Arnautovic and Guido Rodriguez are also in their crosshairs.

A £15m deal with Juventus to sign Adrien Rabiot has also been forged. Discussions over personal terms are currently underway.

Where else could Eric Bailly go?

The Mail add a reunion with Jose Mourinho at Roma is of interest to the Portuguese manager.

Whether Roma would pursue a permanent deal as United are requesting isn’t stated. Though at the very least, the presence of multiple suitors is good news for Man Utd who will be able to negotiate more favourable terms given the competition.

Bailly’s current contract expires in 2024 and the club have an option for a further 12 months.

The only likely scenario in which that option would be activated would be to prevent Bailly becoming a free agent. In that scenario, he would obviously leave for free.

But if United get their way, the centre-half will be sold long before then.