Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Eric Bailly, Phil Jones tell pals they are leaving, as Man Utd accept contract mistake

Manchester United pair Eric Bailly and Phil Jones have reportedly made it clear to team-mates their intention to leave Old Trafford this summer.

New boss Erik ten Hag will take over in July and he is expected to look for a new centre-back. That will reportedly spell the end for Bailly, 27, and Jones, 30, who are both still under contract. A number of Manchester United stars will be leaving on free transfers, including Jesse Lingard, Nemanja Matic, Juan Mata, Paul Pogba, Edinson Cavani and Lee Grant and Bailly and Jones also look set to leave.

Jones is under contract until 2023, with the option of another year. Bailly is under contract until 2024, with a 12-month option.

But the Manchester Evening News report that both players have told their team-mates that they will move on after disappointing seasons.

Frustrated Bailly has started five games all season and, per the report, privately, “United accept Bailly’s three-year contract renewal last year was a mistake”.

The former Villarreal defender look destined to move on last year, but he was persuaded to pen a new deal by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. The defender said at the time the opportunity was “like a new challenge”.

But a month later, on the eve of the Europa League final, he threatened to leave if he didn’t get any more game time.

He did start the final defeat to Villarreal, but his game time since has been almost non-existent.

He also pleaded, via Instagram to get a chance alongside Raphael Varane at centre-back against Arsenal last month.

Bailly replied directly to a fan who asked for him to replace Harry Maguire with the word “Please” followed by a laughing face and prayer hands emoji.

It did not go down well with interim boss Ralf Rangnick.

Eric Bailly falls foul of Rangnick

“I’m not on Instagram. Listen, I’m not talking about my players in the press conference not knowing what has happened, it doesn’t make sense. I can only tell you, never in my life will I be part of Instagram,” said the German.

“If it’s true what you told me, that should not happen in a football club no matter in which league.”

Phil Jones and Eric Bailly forced out by Manchester United

Phil Jones and Eric Bailly will leave Manchester United this summer to pay for Pau Torres from Villarreal


Jones meanwhile has started two games in the last two years but he has recovered from a serious knee injury.

The 1-0 defeat to Wolves and the 4-0 reverse to Liverpool which saw him hooked at half-time. He has though moved ahead of Bailly in the pecking order having been named in 26 matchday squads.

Ten Hag though will want to bring in one of his own men. The club did try to sign Chelsea centre-back Antonio Rudiger recently. They held preliminary talks with Rudiger’s entourage, but he looks set to sign for Real Madrid.

Pau Torres has also been linked with United, as well as Chelsea target Jules Kounde.

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