Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Man Utd transfer news: Ten Hag willing to take massive hit on Eric Bailly as Red Devils look to push out second unwanted star

Eric Bailly, Man Utd defender, during Premier League game against Leicester at King Power Stadium

Manchester United are reportedly willing to listen to cut-price offers for Eric Bailly – with a journalist claiming the Red Devils are willing to take a £21.5m hit on the central defender.

The Ivorian signed for United in a £30m deal from Villarreal in summer 2016; the first signing at United under then-boss Jose Mourinho. However, despite a promising first season, Bailly has struggled to establish himself for the Red Devils. Indeed, in six seasons at United, he has made just 113 appearances in all competitions.

As a result, Bailly has slipped down to fifth-choice centre-back in the United pecking order. United count Harry Maguire, Raphael Varane, Victor Lindelof all ahead of him. And there were times through the 2021/22 campaign when Ralf Rangnick called upon Phil Jones ahead of the 28-year-old Bailly.

Despite his lack of action, United surprisingly decided to extend Bailly’s deal in April last year. That new long-term arrangement ties him to the club through to summer 2024 – and United also retain an option to extend that by a further year.

However, Bailly is not in new manager Erik ten Hag’s plans and reports recently claimed he is up for sale this summer.

Now French journalist Ignazio Genuardi claims United are so desperate to be rid of Bailly that they have let it be known they will accept a hugely-reduced fee.

He claims United will accept as little as £8.5m for the defender – a loss of some £21.5m on their initial investment.

Marseille and Lyon are both reportedly keen, with the former also failing with a loan approach in the January window.

Anthony Martial likely to join Eric Bailly through exit door

Bailly won’t be the only player to leave Old Trafford this summer. Indeed, reports earlier this year suggested Ten Hag could look to move on as many as 12 unwanted stars before the window shuts.

Now, the Daily Telegraph claims United are also pushing to find a new home for forward Anthony Martial.

The France international spent the last half of the 2021/22 season on loan with Sevilla. However, he failed to convince the Spanish side he was worthy of a long-term stay.

He is due to return to Carrington for pre-season training later this month. Martial, however, is considered very much a dispensable player for United. It’s fair to say he does not fit in Ten Hag’s plans.

As such, United are willing to consider any offers for Martial. Signing as a teenager from Monaco back in 2015, Martial has gone on to cost United some £58m.

But with his importance to the side on the wane, Manchester United are reportedly willing to accept a vastly-reduced fee.

Manchester United will glady sell pair

Few will miss Martial or Bailly once the pair depart Old Trafford.

While Martial has impressed periodically, his struggle for consistency means he’s no longer seen as a first-team regular.

And with Ten Hag looking to freshen up his attack, Martial is an easy sacrifice to make.

The Frenchman was close to leaving Old Trafford in summer 2018 when Mourinho tried to offload him to Inter Milan.

While that move broke down, many saw it as the beginning of the end for Martial.

He came back to enjoy a solid 2020/21 season under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – but a lack of consistency has always marred him.

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

Bailly, meanwhile, has been nothing short of a disappointment and a big waste of money.

The £30m Manchester United paid for Eric Bailly back in 2016 now looks laughable. And the Red Devils will do well to find a taker – even at their reduced £8.5m asking price.

Meanwhile, time looks to be up for Dean Henderson with the player closing on a surprise switch to a newly-promoted Premier League club.