Man Utd vulnerable as Barcelona search for ‘unsettled players’ tees up £30m transfer

Man Utd trio Juan Mata, Cristiano Ronaldo and Eric Bailly warming up 2021

Barcelona are plotting a move for ‘unsettled’ Man Utd misfit Eric Bailly, though their strong bargaining position ensures they won’t make it easy for Xavi, per a report.

Bailly, 27, continues to labour down the pecking order at Old Trafford this season. The centre-half is fourth choice behind Harry Maguire, Raphael Varane and Victor Lindelof. That has manifested itself in the form of just seven appearances across all competitions this season.

Bailly was previously named in a bombshell report from the Mirror as one of 11 players who wanted out in January. The other three named players were Dean Henderson, Jesse Lingard and Donny Van de Beek, with only the Dutchman getting his wish.

Bailly was also claimed by the Telegraph in November to have ‘openly challenged’ former manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in the dressing room. His discontent stemmed from repeatedly being overlooked for selection at a time when Harry Maguire’s form was at rock bottom.

Now, per the Daily Star, Bailly may finally have an escape route in sight.

The newspaper states Barcelona are plotting a summer raid for the Ivory Coast star with his predicament in Manchester providing them with an opening.

Bailly next up for Barcelona

The cash-strapped Spaniards have been forced to take a different approach than they’re accustomed to in recent windows.

Multiple free agents were acquired last summer including Memphis Depay and ex-Man City defender Eric Garcia. Adama Traore was then signed on loan with an option to buy in January.

The club also capitalised on Arsenal’s rift with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang when acquiring the Gabon superstar for free. Aubameyang has already scored four goals in five matches for his new club.

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The Star state Bailly is the next ‘unsettled’ player Barca are targeting, though United won’t make it easy.

Bailly still has two years left on his current contract and the club hold an option for a further 12 months. As such, the outlet suggests United chiefs would demand £30m in order to sell.

That would ensure they do not make a loss on the figure they paid Villarreal in 2016.

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Inter playing hardball over Man Utd move

Meanwhile, Manchester United are keen on a move for Inter Milan midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu, claims a report.

Calhanoglu, who only moved across the city from AC Milan to Inter last summer, is “very appreciated” by Ralf Rangnick, according to InterLive.

The Turkey international only arrived on a free transfer last July, signing a deal until 2024. But Italian Sports Editor Rudy Galetti has reported that Calhanoglu is in the sights of United and Rangnick.

United’s interest will no doubt have been captured by the player’s fine form. He has scored six goals and grabbed nine assists in 22 Serie A appearances this season.

The Italian outlet report that United could offer around €18m-€20m for Çalhanoglu. Though that will not be enough for Inter to consider selling the schemer.

Despite picking up the German-born player for free they “will not be willing to consider offers below €30m”.

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