Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Man Utd outcast handed Premier League lifeline as Fulham enter talks for £30m defender

Ben Stewart
Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly

A Manchester United outcast has been handed a lifeline in the Premier League as Fulham have reportedly entered talks with the star.

Erik ten Hag is seemingly keen to shift a few big earners off the wage bill as he continues to rebuild the squad.

He has already been boosted by the additions of Mason Mount, Andre Onana and Rasmus Hojlund but more departures are inevitable between now and the end of the window.

Man Utd had been keen to add another defensive option to their ranks, but Harry Maguire’s collapsed move to West Ham seems to have put the brakes on that idea for the time being.

Elsewhere in the Man Utd squad, Eric Bailly is still seeking a move this summer and he could have been handed a Premier League lifeline.

For some time it looked as if the 29-year-old was set to move to Al-Nassr, but that move has since stalled and now seems unlikely.

According to the Daily Mail, the defender is now ‘in talks’ to join Fulham as Marco Silva looks to boost his defensive line.

The report claims that Man Utd would not command a large fee to sell Bailly as the club is looking to shift him off the wage bill as soon as possible.

Bailly could leave for free

While the 29-year-old is still under contract at Old Trafford until the summer of 2024, Man Utd could decide to cut their losses with the defender.

According to RMC Sport journalist Fabrice Hawkins, Ten Hag’s side could allow the centre-back to find a new club for free during the current transfer window.

Bailly isn’t part of Ten Hag’s plans for the future and so the club doesn’t see much point in keeping him around past this summer.

Man Utd spent around £30m to sign Bailly back in 2016 from Villarreal. He’s had his ups and downs in a United shirt, but now seems to right time to move on.

The 29-year-old spent last season out on loan at Marseille and the French club decided against activating their optional purchase option.

When fully-fit Bailly could still be a solid Premier League defender and it’s no surprise that Fulham are looking to strengthen this department.

At 35 years old, Tim Ream isn’t getting any younger and Silva could do with a few more options in defence to pick from.

Fulham have already signed Ajax defender Calvin Bassey this summer and Bailly would be a nice addition alongside the 23-year-old.

Time will tell if Fulham manage to strike a deal for the wantaway star, but this deal would probably be best for all parties involved.

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