Manchester United are hoping that Villarreal could be tempted to take back former star Eric Bailly in 2021, TEAMtalk can reveal.
However, they are not too keen on paying over £60million for him. That is the release clause which dictates is the situation for any club wanting him.
United have made a new defender to partner Harry Maguire one of their top priorities in the new year.
We understand they are willing to let a host of names go including Victor Lindelof, Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo and Bailly. And the latter could be a possible trump card for United.
They signed the Ivory Coast international in 2016 for £30million. But he has struggled for game time in recent seasons and is very much heading towards the exit door.
Bailly’s current deal runs until 2022 and he has been linked with Premier League rivals Arsenal and Tottenham.
But the best way to move him in will be an exchange, and United could see if Villarreal would take him back.
United know, however, they would have to subsidise his wages, probably no matter which club he might join.
United hit by Dembele stumbling block
Manchester United are growing increasingly interested in Ousmane Dembele, claims a report – but there is one stumbling block.
Dembele became a target for United late in the summer transfer window as an alternative to Jadon Sancho. Their pursuit of the Borussia Dortmund star did not end in success, forcing them to turn their attention to Barcelona’s Dembele instead.
However, they could not complete a deal for the France international, who chose to stay at Barcelona. He has not had many opportunities since.
Hence, Dembele continues to be the subject of transfer speculation, with Barcelona having a decision to make on his future. His contract expires in 2022, but he does not seem likely to sign a renewal.
Therefore, Barcelona may have to sell him in January – especially as they are looking to balance their books. They know they cannot sign a defender as Ronald Koeman desires without selling someone first.
That could mean Dembele is put on the market again, and according to Mundo Deportivo, Man Utd are still in the hunt.
The Catalan source claims United are making “discreet movements” and “deepening their interest”.
Barcelona will not be against a sale of Dembele, but as stated, it needs to be for a good price. In fact, the report claims they are holding out for somewhere between €70m and €80m. Read more…