Man Utd sign ‘great natural talent’ Bailly from Villarreal

Date published: Wednesday 8th June 2016 1:16

Jose Mourinho says Eric Bailly can become “one of the best around” after the defender completed his move to Manchester United. 

The 22-year-old Ivory Coast defender has signed a four-year contract with the option of a further two-year extension after finalising a deal which is reported to be costing United up to £25million.

He becomes the first signing of new manager Mourinho, who has high hopes for the centre-back.

“Eric is a young central defender with great natural talent,” he told “He has progressed well to date and has the potential to become one of the best around.

“We look forward to working with him to help nurture that raw talent and fulfil his potential.

“Eric is at the right club to continue his development.”

Bailly made 47 appearances in the 16 months he was with Villarreal after joining from Espanyol in January last year.

He has also won 15 caps for the Ivory Coast and was part of the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations-winning side.

“It is a dream come true to be joining Manchester United,” he said.

“To play football at the highest level is all I have ever wanted to do.

“I want to progress to be the best that I can be and I believe working with Jose Mourinho will help me develop in the right way and at the right club.

“I am looking forward to meeting my new team-mates and to starting this new chapter of my life.”

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