Eric Bailly’s Manchester United future looks in doubt with the club reportedly concerned about his slow recovery from a knee injury.
The defender looked set to leave Old Trafford this summer, with Arsenal among his admirers and United bringing in Harry Maguire from Leicester in a world-record fee.
But a bad knee injury sustained by the player in United’s 2-1 win over Tottenham in their pre-season meeting in Shanghai ended talk the former Villarreal man – Jose Mourinho’s first signing for Manchester United when he arrived in a £30million deal in summer 2016 – could be moved on.
The 25-year-old had surgery at the start of August and he was expected to be back around Christmas time, but according to The Sun the defender’s absence will now drag on into next year.
The tabloid quoted an Old Trafford source: “There was plenty of early optimism, we thought it would be a lot quicker.
“It was a real shock to see Eric struggling to get around the complex on crutches and far from any fitness.
“It will be a major surprise to see him back before the end of this year. It’s such a shame as there’s something about him.”
With Bailly’s contract due to expire next summer, the same paper, in August, claimed United wanted to offer the player a further two years – taking his contract at Old Trafford through to summer 2022 – and ensuring he can’t leave the club on a free transfer next summer.