Latest reports suggest that out-of-favour Manchester United centre-back Eric Bailly is attracting interest from several clubs including AS Roma. Giallorossi manager Jose Mourinho is interested in bringing the Ivorian defender to Italy this summer.
United’s pursuit of Lisandro Martinez ended in a success, with the Red Devils pipping clubs such as Arsenal to the chase. The Argentine’s arrival at Old Trafford signals not only the beginning of a new era for the club, but also the end for certain players. One such player who might be on his way out after the arrival of United’s new number 6 is the Ivory Coast centre-back.
ArseDevils reported a week ago that Martinez’s arrival could signal the end of the road for three players, a list that included Eric Bailly, Phil Jones, and Axel Tuanzebe. The three players have been deemed surplus to United’s needs and they may be headed to the chopping block as the club aim to slim out the squad for the imminent arrival of reinforcements.
Unlike the other two, Bailly has been provided centre-stage to perform for the Red Devils during the club’s pre-season so that he could prove his worth to new boss Erik ten Hag who now holds the answer to whether the player will stay or not. The Ivorian has managed to string along impressive performances for United during their pre-season tour of Asia and Australia, receiving praise and admiration throughout the fanbase.
Perhaps, it is the pre-season display that has now earned the 28-year-old an interest from a foreign club. According to Metro, AS Roma have opened talks with Manchester United over a potential summer move for Eric Bailly. Jose Mourinho is eager to bring the centre-back to the Stadio Olimpico.
— Gianluca Di Marzio (@DiMarzio) July 25, 2022
Moreover, as reported by Italian journalist Alfredo Pedulla, the Ivory Coast international is set to conduct talks with Ten Hag to discuss his future at Old Trafford and would be open to a move to the Italian side if he feels his game time faces hindrance at United.
AS Roma manager Jose Mourinho appears to welcome a reunion with the out-of-favour Eric Bailly, who was coincidentally the Portuguese manager’s first signing during his time at Old Trafford. The Portuguese signed the defender in 2016 as a 22-year-old, who made 39 appearances for the Red Devils throughout that season (stats via Transfermarkt).
However, that has been the Ivorian’s highest appearance tally for a season with the Red Devils. The player has been plagued with frequent injury woes that have rendered him incapable of having a bigger impact at the club, resulting in short fits and bouts of inconsistent performances.
The 28-year-old centre-back would be hoping for a change in fortunes at his potential new club. The former Inter Milan manager, Jose, has already signed in this transfer window a former United player in Nemanja Matic, someone he has worked with before. In addition, Eric Bailly could also be reunited with former defensive partner Chris Smalling who has since rebuilt his career at AS Roma after leaving Old Trafford.
Not just the Serie A club, the former Villarreal man has attracted interest from clubs like AC Milan and Sevilla as well. According to a report by The Sun, Bailly could end up snubbing a move to the Giallorossi in favour of the Spanish side, Sevilla. On the other hand, Italian champions, AC Milan have ramped up their interest in the United centre-back.
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According to Italian transfer expert, Gianluca Di Marzio, Milan would be in the market for a no.10 and a defender with three defensive targets already in sight. One of these targets happens to be Eric Bailly, who is in contention along with Tottenham Hotspur’s Japhet Tanganga and Eintracht Frankfurt’s Evan N’Dicka.
The newly arrived Lisandro Martinez would inevitably be competing with captain Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof, and Raphael Varane for the starting spots, pushing the Ivory Coast international further down the pecking order. A move away could spark the 28-year-old’s career in a different direction that involves more game time.
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