Negotiations are ongoing for Manchester United to send Eric Bailly to AC Milan – but they are not the only Italian side chasing his signature, reports remind.
Bailly is behind Harry Maguire, Raphael Varane and Victor Lindelof in the centre-back pecking order at Man Utd. He signed a contract extension with the club last April with the expectation of getting more gametime. It has not gone how he planned.
This season, he has only started three Premier League matches. Therefore, he could consider a future elsewhere – and the stars have aligned for AC Milan to take him.
After losing Simon Kjaer for the season due to an ACL injury, the Serie A side need a new defender to maintain pressure on league leaders and city rivals Inter.
To that end, they have been making progress on a deal to take Bailly on loan from Man Utd. And there has been a belief that the Premier League side are willing to operate on such terms.
However, there are still some stumbling blocks for them to overcome. According to Foot Mercato, Man Utd want Milan to cover Bailly’s full salary for the duration of his six-month loan.
The Rossoneri are not keen to comply due to his high demands. However, he is still their preferred target, so they are unlikely to back out of a deal.
Manchester United defender Eric Bailly wanted by AC Milan
Manchester United centre back Eric Bailly is wanted by AC Milan but they have other targets from the Premier League
Still, they may need to hurry up, because the report also claims that Roma are readying a rival attempt to take him to Italy.
Mourinho still pondering Bailly reunion
That move, of course, would reunite him with Jose Mourinho, the manager who signed him for Man Utd.
Although there have been other factors like injuries, Bailly has never managed more than the 38 appearances Mourinho gave him during his first season in Manchester.
The former Tottenham boss has inherited a work in progress in the Italian capital and defence is one of the areas he may still want to reinforce before the end of January.
But Foot Mercato concede that Roma are still lagging behind Milan in terms of how advanced their pursuit is. Still, they will be keeping an eye on how things unfold.
Either way, this may be the ideal time for Bailly to leave United and explore other opportunities. At the age of 27, he should be playing more regularly.
If things work out away on loan, there may be the chance for United to cash in on him, although there does not seem to be any desire to insert an option to buy in any temporary deal at present.
Man Utd loan exit nearing completion
Meanwhile, one temporary departure that is even farther down the line for United is that of Anthony Martial to Sevilla.
The future of Martial was one of the biggest talking points at Old Trafford this month. The 26-year-old had a public spat with Ralf Rangnick after the German boss claimed Martial has refused to play.
Martial fired back on social media, stating he has never refused to don the club’s colours. Within a week, the saga was brought to a close, and Martial was integrated back into the matchday squads.
However, whether he would remain at the club beyond January 31 remained a mystery.
Sevilla had drawn the strongest links with a potential loan move.
Now, per transfer guru Fabrizio Romano, Martial’s loan move to Sevilla is a done deal. The Italian tweeted the switch is ‘confirmed’ after posting a video of Martial arriving in Seville.
The terms of the proposed move were revealed earlier on Tuesday, and they make great reading for United’s financial department.
The Daily Mail claimed that Sevilla offered a £5million loan fee, as per Man Utd’s request. Furthermore, per Romano, Sevilla have offered to cover his salary until June.