Jose Mourinho wants to take Eric Bailly to Roma and Manchester United are willing to sell the defender for a surprisingly low fee, according to a report.
Bailly moved to Old Trafford in July 2016 when Manchester United paid Villarreal around £30million to secure his services. The centre-back arrived with high expectations after 18 successful months with Villarreal in La Liga.
Bailly has gone on to play 113 matches for Manchester United, helping them win a Europa League, League Cup and Community Shield.
However, Bailly’s spell at the club has been affected by injuries and multiple poor performances.
He was out of favour under both Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick last season. This led to Bailly only appearing seven times across all competitions.
The Ivorian still has two years left on his United contract. But the Red Devils are willing to part ways with him this summer. The move clearly hasn’t worked out and it would be good for both United and Bailly to start afresh.
Bailly was the first player to join United during Mourinho’s tenure at the Theatre of Dreams. And recent reports state the manager wants a reunion at Roma.
According to the Daily Mirror, Roma have ‘stepped up’ that interest. They have made Bailly a key target to improve Mourinho’s defensive options for the upcoming season.
Eric Bailly could be sold after Lisandro Martinez arrival
Roma know United are open to offloading the 28-year-old. This is especially the case after United’s capture of Lisandro Martinez from Ajax.
Due to Bailly’s poor fitness record and lack of consistency over the past few years, United cannot demand a big fee for him.
And the Daily Mirror claim he will be available for less than £10m. A transfer to Roma at this price would see United take a £20m hit on the central defender.
Many would have been expecting Bailly to be available for less than his original £30m sum. But selling him for under £10m is certainly a shock move from United.
A move to Roma is the best decision Bailly could make. Mourinho knows how he works and could end up getting the best out of him.
Leaving United would give Bailly the chance to improve away from such a fierce spotlight. Clearly, the expectations at Roma are huge, though they are not quite as big as those at United.
Roma should capture Bailly on a relatively short contract, worth one or two years for example. This would prevent the club from having to pay too much on him for a long time if Bailly does flop once again.
Meanwhile, Ajax boss Alfred Schreuder has given his verdict on Antony’s future, with the attacker a prime target for United.