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Spanish giants eyeing a summer move for 27-year-old Man United star

Fulham want to sign Eric Bailly on loan with a buy option. (Photo by BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images)
Fulham want to sign Eric Bailly on loan with a buy option. (Photo by BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images)

Transfer News: Barcelona eyeing Manchester United defender Eric Bailly in the summer

According to the Daily Star, Manchester United star Eric Bailly has been identified by Barcelona as a defensive target this summer as the Catalan club continues their recruitment process under manager Xavi Hernandez ahead of the new season.

Bailly has barely featured for the Manchester club this term and missed out on even more opportunities to turn out for the side due to his participation at the Africa Cup of Nations with Ivory Coast at the turn of the year.

Now, it looks like Barcelona may offer him an escape route as Hernandez looks to target unsettled players across Europe by taking advantage of the situation and snapping them up for his benefit.

Transfer News: Barcelona eyeing Manchester United defender Eric Bailly in the summer. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
Eric Bailly may depart Manchester United for Barcelona in the summer. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Despite joining the club back in 2017, the defender has not racked up as many appearances as one would expect from a player who has been there for nearly half a decade. The Ivory Coast international has never been able to establish himself as first-choice regularly under any of the managers he has played under.

Spanish escape

With Victor Lindelof, Raphael Varane, and Harry Maguire ahead of the star in the pecking order to claim a place in the starting XI, the former Villarreal defender is not getting any first-team minutes regularly and could look for opportunities elsewhere.

With over two years left on his Red Devils contract, a chance at starting every game for the Old Trafford outfit does not appear plausible. This is where Barcelona can step in and convince him to swap England for Spain, although the Manchester club can trigger an option to extend his stay at the club for a further 12 months.

Transfer News: Barcelona eyeing Manchester United defender Eric Bailly in the summer.
Xavi Hernandez is looking to add defensive reinforcements to his squad.

A crowd favourite at Old Trafford, the Ivorian is known for his high energy and willingness to put his body on the line for the club. Multiple times, we have seen Bailly throw himself at a shot to protect his goal, which explains why the crowd love him.

This kind of commitment and athleticism may be what Xavi is looking for at Barcelona, especially given that Gerard Pique is not getting any younger. The Spaniard’s time at the club may be coming to a close soon, and Bailly could step in for the modern Barca legend.

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Having prior experience in La Liga due to his time with Villareal, Bailly would quickly settle in at Camp Nou and prove his worth to his potential new employers. He would be itching at a chance to secure more first-team football, and it arguably does not come better than playing for Barcelona.

Man United meanwhile, will hope to keep him next season so that their rearguard does not become too thin. The player is loved in Manchester, and hopefully, the adoration from fans will convince him to stay on atleast until the end of his current deal with the club.

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