Transfer News: AS Roma set to target Manchester United outcast Eric Bailly next summer
According to the Italian news outlet Il Romanista via Sport Witness (h/t The Mirror), AS Roma have identified Manchester United outcast Eric Bailly as a potential target for the summer transfer window. He has seen himself fall down the pecking order due to an untimely injury alongside Raphael Varane’s arrival at the start of this season.
Roma would pursue Bailly after Jose Mourinho has demanded his services once the current campaign ends. An initial loan move with an option to buy is being proposed for the defender as they look to add him to their squad next summer.
The Ivorian was “certainly offered” to the Serie A club in January, but a move never came to fruition in the end. It is claimed that the approach broke down due to the financial differences between the parties
That has not stopped Mourinho’s desire to add him to his team for next season and the ex-Chelsea and Real Madrid boss has now turned his attention towards the Ivory Coast international after failing to land Granit Xhaka from Arsenal.
Bailly to Roma?
The 27-year-old will certainly find it difficult to get more game time considering the presence of Raphael Varane, Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof. Phil Jones has also returned from his injury, making the Englishman our fifth senior centre-back in the squad.
It remains to be seen what Bailly himself would make of this potential move. Regular minutes are certainly tough to come by for him at Old Trafford. Meanwhile, Gianluca Mancini and the ageing Chris Smalling are currently Mourinho’s only two centre-back options older than 24 years of age.
It was the Chosen One who initially signed the central defender at Old Trafford after £30million was paid in transfer fees to Villarreal back in 2016. Reuniting with a manager who trusted you enough to splurge the cash, albeit more than 5 years ago, is certainly a favourable prospect for most out-of-favour players in the prime physical years of their career.
Moreover, this could be a perfect opportunity to get rid of a senior player from our wage books. Injuries have constantly plagued him during his time with us, whereas his displays on the pitch have not been consistent enough for Ralf Rangnick, or his predecessor Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, to make him a regular starter.
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The Portuguese boss believes his current squad is not good enough to compete at the top in Italy As such, a move to Rome could be in the best interest of all parties considering the circumstances. It remains to be seen what transpires here, with the summer window just a few months away.