Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Player to walk away from Man Utd for free as latest financial hit beckons; Fulham and Saudi clubs among suitors

Eric Bailly and Dean Henderson of Manchester Utd. FC during the first leg of round of 32 of UEFA Europa League between Real Sociedad and Manchester United FC at Juventus Stadium on February 18, 2021

Eric Bailly and Dean Henderson of Manchester United

Manchester United look set to take another financial hit in the transfer market as defender Eric Bailly will be allowed to leave on a free transfer this summer, according to a journalist.

Man Utd have a habit of letting players go for reduced fees after they struggle at Old Trafford. Midfielder Paul Pogba is a prime example. After allowing him to leave on a free transfer, Man Utd re-signed the Frenchman from Juventus for a then world-record £89million sum in August 2016.

But last summer, Pogba once again departed Man Utd on a free following the expiry of his contract.

Other players Man Utd have taken losses on, more recently, include Fred and Alex Telles. Harry Maguire would have also joined that group if he had gone through with a £30m switch to West Ham United.

According to RMC Sport journalist Fabrice Hawkins, Erik ten Hag’s side will allow centre-back Bailly to find a new club for free during the current transfer window, despite his contract running until June 2024.

This will see Man Utd take a £30m hit, as that is the fee they paid Villarreal to sign Bailly in July 2016.

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It recently emerged that the Ivorian had agreed personal terms ahead of a potential move to Besiktas in the Turkish Super Lig. But the deal was dependent on the two clubs reaching an agreement themselves, and that has not happened.

Man Utd have therefore decided to cut their losses and get Bailly off their wage bill for good.

Fulham want Man Utd outcast

Interestingly, Bailly could remain in the Premier League as Hawkins states that Fulham are looking into signing him.

Bailly could also still move to Turkey, though not with Besiktas. And, like with seemingly every other player in Europe, Saudi Arabian teams are keeping tabs on the situation and may swoop in with a lucrative contract offer.


The 29-year-old spent last term on loan at Marseille. The Ligue 1 outfit had the obligation to sign Bailly permanently if he made a certain amount of appearances.

However, he did not do enough to impress Marseille coaches and as a result this clause was not triggered.

Bailly has made 113 appearances for Man Utd across all competitions and has scored one goal in that time. Man Utd have won the Europa League, League Cup and Community Shield while he has been on their books.

Meanwhile, Man Utd are at serious risk of missing out on a priority target to rivals Liverpool, according to various sources.