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Roma One Step Away From Signing Out-Of-Favor United Defender On Loan

Manchester United, free agents

Manchester United defender Eric Bailly is reportedly close to joining AS Roma on loan this summer. The arrival of Lisandro Martinez, Christian Eriksen, and Tyrell Malacia has stirred the current Man United outfit. An abundance in depth, especially in the centre-back position signals the end of the line for some players, including Ivory Coast defender, Eric Bailly.

Eric Bailly in action for Manchester United in 2022/23 pre-season, Eric Bailly, Roma
Image Obtained Via Team Talk

The Red Devils already had club captain Harry Maguire, Raphael Varane, and Victor Lindelof as central defensive options. With the new signing of Lisandro Martinez, there is little room for the other defenders to make headway into the starting lineup.

United centre-back Bailly is one such defender at the club who would be searching for pastures anew. Now it seems like there is a high chance he might get an opportunity to play for his former manager, Jose Mourinho again.

Mourinho was the United manager for two and a half years where he won three trophies for the club. The Portuguese’s first signing was coincidentally the then 22-year-old Eric Bailly.

If recent reports and rumours are to be believed, the Roma gaffer is in the market and he might reunite with his former player. Mourinho has already dipped his toes to sign a former United player in Nemanja Matic for free whose contract ended after last season. Bailly would also reunite with his former defensive partner Chris Smalling if he makes the move to Roma. 

According to Calciomercato, Roma are closing in on a loan deal with United for Bailly with an option-to-buy for €8 million. AC Milan and Fulham are also understood to be interested, but the player seems to be leaning towards a move to Roma.

The Giallorossi have been active in this transfer window, having recently signed Paris Saint-Germain player Gini Wijnaldum on loan and Paulo Dybala on a permanent transfer.

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Eric Bailly-Roma links come as a big blow to recently promoted Fulham who have been scrambling in search of defensive options. According to the journalist, Pete O’Rourke, an official bid was submitted from Craven Cottage, but now it seems more and more likely that the 28-year-old Ivorian will instead opt for a move to the Stadio Olimpico. 

Bailly made regular appearances for United in his first season as he won three trophies with the club in that term. However, injury woes and bouts of inconsistency have rendered the Ivorian susceptible to being benched for long periods at United in favour of Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire and Raphael Varane.

As Eric Bailly reaches his peak years, it is best that he spends them receiving substantial game time, a prospect unfathomable at his current club. He was quite liked by Jose Mourinho at United and he will get ample opportunity to prove his credentials at Roma, no doubt about it.

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