Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Ten Hag sensationally shuts down Man Utd exit for a second time; forgotten man prepares for surprise return

Man Utd manager Erik ten Hag

Fabrizio Romano has revealed Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag will not be letting Victor Lindelof go in the summer, while reports emerging from France claim a forgotten player is set to return to Old Trafford.

Lindelof has played 20 times for Man Utd in all competitions this season, with nine of those outings coming in the Premier League. He is not a regular in the Man Utd starting eleven due to Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez being Ten Hag’s favoured centre-back partnership, while the manager can also rely on club captain Harry Maguire.

Despite Lindelof not being at the top of the pecking order, he has proven to be a useful player for Ten Hag. The 28-year-old tends to get picked either when one of Ten Hag’s other defensive options are out injured, or if they need resting.

In January, European clubs Atletico Madrid and Inter Milan made approaches for Lindelof, but these were swatted away by Ten Hag.

On Sunday, a report in The Sun brought up the possibility of Inter trying again for Lindelof at the end of the season.

It is claimed that the Italian side have maintained their interest in the Swede. And they have been given encouragement that a bid close to £31million – which is what Man Utd paid for Lindelof in 2017 – would be enough to strike an agreement.

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However, Romano has issued an immediate response to those claims, revealing Ten Hag will once again shut Inter down. He will tell them that Lindelof is going nowhere as he is a handy squad player to have.

Romano, speaking in an interview with CaughtOffside, added that Ten Hag is ‘happy’ with Lindelof and will once again slap Inter with ‘a big no’ when it comes to a potential sale.

Eric Bailly to reunite with Man Utd squad

And Lindelof could be joined at Man Utd by forgotten defender Eric Bailly. The Ivory Coast international is spending the season on loan at Ligue 1 club Marseille.

He has made 16 appearances so far, though he was suspended for seven matches due to a high challenge on an opponent during a Coupe de France game in January.

According to French newspaper L’Equipe, Marseille have no plans to sign the centre-half on a permanent basis.

As part of his loan, there are two clauses which will force Marseille to pay £6m and buy him from Man Utd. The first is that they must qualify for the Champions League. As they currently sit in second place behind Paris Saint-Germain, this looks likely to happen.

The second clause is that Bailly plays a certain number of games. L’Equipe claim he must appear in 10 out of Marseille’s final 12 league matches in order for the permanent deal to be triggered.

As a result, Marseille boss Igor Tudor has been told by the club’s hierarchy not to play Bailly this often.

The 28-year-old must now prepare to return to Man Utd at the end of the season. He will have been hoping to leave the club permanently by joining Marseille on a long-term basis, but he has not done enough to make that transfer a reality.

Bailly will likely return to Man Utd training this summer, where he will attempt to impress Ten Hag. But he will struggle to get into the Man Utd starting lineup given the centre-backs that are already in the squad. The Red Devils will probably end up putting Bailly up for sale, although finding a club who wants to sign him may prove difficult.

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