Eric Bailly’s time as a Manchester United player could be drawing to a close amid reports that suggest he has been told he can leave this summer should a suitable offer comes in for his services.
The Ivory Coast centre-back, 24, arrived at the club in summer 2017 in a £30million deal from Villarreal, but has failed to nail down a place in the side and has dropped firmly down Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s pecking order, with Victor Lindelof, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones all preferred ahead of him.
It was reported on Wednesday evening that Solskjaer is likely to have a summer budget of £200million this summer, but with four key positions identified as areas to strengthen, the Norwegian could look to boost his kitty by selling off some unwanted assets.
With a centre-half still very much on Solskjaer’s shopping list, reports on Thursday morning claimed United were closing in on a £26million summer swoop for Toby Alderweireld – leaving Bailly free to look for a new club.
The Daily Mirror claims United will look to recoup as much as £30million for Bailly – and it seems he won’t be short of options either with Arsenal and Tottenham – who could look to fill the gap left behind by Alderweireld – both in the market to secure his services.
Solskjaer confirmed that Arsenal had enquired about Bailly in January, but the Norwegian refused to let Bailly depart with Arsenal looking for a loan with a view to a permanent transfer.
However, they could have more joy if they return with a firm proposal in the summer, with Unai Emery looking to add a new name to his backline amid claims Shkodran Mustafi could be moved on and with Laurent Koscielny now in the autumn of his career.
The report indicates United are ready to listen to offers for Bailly and are ready to move him on to the highest bidder.
The Ivorian has made 73 appearances for the club, scoring his only goal to date for United during a 4-0 win at Swansea in August 2017.
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