Transfer News: AC Milan still identify Manchester United centre-back Eric Bailly as top target
According to French news outlet Foot Mercato (h/t The Mirror), AC Milan still persist in their attempt to sign Manchester United centre-back Eric Bailly as they have identified him as a top transfer target. He is currently out on international duty, playing in the Africa Cup of Nations.
Milan had already expressed their interest in Bailly, but they are now continuing their pursuit after marking him as a priority. They are looking to bring him to San Siro to solve the defensive crisis that has unravelled following the long-term injuries to both Simon Kjaer and Fikayo Tomori.
I Rossoneri have a season-long loan transfer in mind, but the 27-year-old has also been linked with other types of moves this month. It remains to be seen if Man United would allow a loan deal this late in January despite him holding a spot lower down the defensive pecking order.
Raphael Varane, Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire are all ahead of the Ivorian for the starting spots under Ralf Rangnick. Moreover, Phil Jones had a solid comeback, even if he only played one game since returning to the first-team lineup.
However, it would be too reactionary to think we can fully count on Jones based on one good performance. While the African has not been consistent with his displays, he could still provide an option for Rangnick if the situation calls for it. Injuries have also been a part of his time at Old Trafford, but we are not in a place to move him out this instant.
Even if the Red Devils boss uses a four-at-the-back system, it is good to have solid depth in the centre of the defence. We have seen Varane suffer from injury issues whereas Maguire has endured a tough season as well. It is not wise to loan out the Ivory Coast international without bringing in a backup option.
With not many days left in the January transfer window, the chances of a move would naturally become tougher with each passing day. However, a loan move would be beneficial if we consider Bailly’s point of view. The ex-Villarreal man could get the playing time he needs to get back to his best.
And Milan aren’t really a shabby club to play for, given the likes of defenders that have donned their jersey over the past few decades, including Franco Baresi, Paolo Maldini, and Leonardo Bonucci.
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We are hopeful that a reasonable decision would be made as squad depth could be important in our pursuit for a top-four finish this season. As we saw back in December, depth continues to be more important than ever in the modern-day scenario of Covid-19.