Eric Bailly has suggested he will look for a solution elsewhere if he continues to lack regular action at Manchester United and amid claims the club are chasing two new defenders this summer.
The Ivorian star is likely to start alongside Victor Lindelof in Wednesday’s Europa League final in Gdansk. With skipper Harry Maguire likely to be absent with injury, Bailly should come in from the cold alongside the Swede. Maguire has travelled with the United squad and a late decision will be made on his fitness.
For Bailly, the final could hand him an all-too-rare chance to impress. Bailly was heavily linked with a move away this summer after his agent strongly suggested he was fed up with his lack of game time.
So it came as something of a shock when the former Villarreal man signed a new deal to extend his stay at Old Trafford recently.
However, United continue to be linked with new defenders. The likes of Pau Torres – who they will face tonight – and Raphael Varane are both being strongly linked with a move.
And ahead of the game, Bailly has released an interview stating how he wants to play more. And were United to sign either Torres or Varane, he’s stated that he could still look to move on.
“Competition is always good to improve,” Bailly told The Times. “I just say that I want to stay in case I get the chance to play. I don’t want to be a starter one game and a substitute for another five.
“If that happens I will have to look for another solution.
“The new contract is fine but if I don’t play I will be open to listen to other proposals.”
Bailly admits he was convinced to sign a new deal after a chat with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. He states the United boss convinced him to stay.
“I spoke to him and he told me he wanted me to stay,” said Bailly. “The most important thing was not the renewal but the conversation we had. We sat down, we talked and he told me what he wanted from me and that he wanted me to continue.”
Torres talks up Man Utd squad
Villarreal defender Torres, meanwhile, has talked up the quality of United’s squad as he prepares to face them in Gdansk.
The Spain defender, strongly linked with a move to United, knows full well how tough the game will be.
“When I hear the names of important strikers, what I want to do is to face them,” said Torres. “The same thing happened to me in my first games against Real Madrid, Barcelona.
“I knew that I would face very good players, and the only thing I have in mind is that I will face very important players, and that way [I will] know where my level is.
“Manchester United have world-class players in all positions. It will be a test to measure just where Villarreal is at this moment. We want to see if we’re prepared to achieve great things.”
Torres has also been named in Luis Enrique’s 26-man Spain squad for the upcoming European Championships. He has beaten out the likes of Sergio Ramos for a place and could be set for a busy summer if he ends up completing a big-money switch to Old Trafford.