Man Utd star could become surprise first casualty if pursuit succeeds

Man Utd manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer making a point

Man Utd could sanction the surprise sale of a current star despite recently signing a new contract if their transfer pursuit succeeds, according to a report.

Man Utd have two main areas they are seeking to improve in the transfer market this summer. Firstly, additional firepower is desired. Jadon Sancho was identified as the man to provide a greater threat as far back as 12 months ago. And per a recent report, their long-running interest in the England winger could soon pay off.

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The second position due to experience change is centre-half.

The Red Devils have been tipped to splash the cash and provide Harry Maguire with a world class partner.

An initial £50m bid for Real Madrid and France ace Raphael Varane was reportedly rejected. Though that is not likely to end their interest despite a stark warning about Varane’s abilities.

Other candidates have been identified, with Villarreal defender Pau Torres recently coming into focus.

There is said to be a growing belief’ an agreement can be reached for the 24-year-old who holds a release clause of around £54m.

However, per the Express, Torres’ arrival could signal the exit of current star Eric Bailly.

Eric Bailly, Man Utd defender

That would come as a shock given the Ivorian signed a new contract just two months ago. Nevertheless, that may have been with the intention of ensuring Man Utd are in a strong bargaining position if they decide to sell.

The Express think this could be the case after citing comments from Eurosport’s Dean Jones when speaking on the Football Terrace podcast.

“It even came as a surprise to me, that [Bailly’s] contract, because the word had previously been he wasn’t going to be staying,” said Jones.

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“As it is, I’m told Bailly might still leave and may end up going back to Villarreal. That’s something to look for going forward.

“It seemed the case back in January that Pau Torres and Jules Kounde of Sevilla were the ones they really liked. Towards the end of the season I was told it was Torres they wanted over Kounde.

“They’ve done all due their due diligence on him, all the scouting done, so it’s now a case of budget. They still don’t know what they’ve got to spend overall in this market.”

Bailly to look for “another solution”

Bailly has never been a regular starter under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. When speaking with the Times about his future at Old Trafford in May, the centre-back revealed he will consider his options if consistent gametime is not forthcoming.

“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.”

READ MORE: Finishing line finally in sight after new Man Utd bid means Jadon Sancho deal is ‘about to close’