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Journo: Four teams have made contact to sign fringe Manchester United defender

Eric Bailly in action for Ivory Coast. (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)
Eric Bailly in action for Ivory Coast. (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)

Manchester United defender Eric Bailly contacted by several clubs for a summer exit ahead of the upcoming transfer window

According to football journalist Jonathan Shrager on Twitter (h/t Express), several clubs have contacted Manchester United defender Eric Bailly regarding an exit from the side ahead of the upcoming summer transfer window.  

Bailly joined the Red Devils in 2016 from Villarreal, signed by then-manager Jose Mourinho in his first season with the club. However, despite spending nearly six years in Manchester, the defender has not racked up as many appearances as one would expect.

The Ivorian has endured an injury-filled time at Old Trafford, barely able to make it through an entire campaign while being fully fit. This has seen him fail to establish himself in the first team, falling down the pecking order at central defence.

The English club’s signings of Harry Maguire and Raphael Varane have effectively cut off Bailly’s path to the starting lineup, having to make do with warming the bench. Victor Lindelof and Phil Jones have been preferred to the 28-year-old this season, when United’s first-choice stars have been unavailable.

Chance to stay in the Premier League

Now, Shrager has claimed that four clubs have made contact recently to offer the Ivory Coast international an escape route in the summer. These include Ligue 1 sides Olympique Lyonnais and Olympique de Marseille, Serie A club AS Roma, and Premier League opponents Newcastle United.

It certainly will be interesting to see which of these options Bailly could pick, given the different opportunities he could get to experience. While a summer move to Italy would see him reunite with Mourinho, the chance to stay in England is on offer from Newcastle’s end.

Four clubs have made contact for Manchester United defender Eric Bailly in the summer. (Photo by BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images)
Four clubs have made contact for Manchester United defender Eric Bailly in the summer. (Photo by BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images)

A move to Roma may perhaps see the central defender get more game time under Mourinho and play alongside Chris Smalling once again in the rearguard. It could prove to be familiar territory for the player, and settle into Italy’s capital quickly.

Newcastle’s offer cannot be discarded, given that there is a chance that the interest from the Magpies could be a financially attractive package to convince Bailly to stay in the English top-flight. Backed by new and rich Saudi owners, they are looking to make their mark in the Premier League.

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The French league would be a new experience for the Ivorian to take in, but in comparison to the interest from the other sides, they stand less of a chance to prise Bailly away from United. Only time will tell where the defender eventually ends up, though.

If he does depart in the summer, United fans will fondly remember the player for being someone who was never afraid of putting his body on the line and giving it all for the red jersey. His passion for the game and love for the club was evident, but it may be time to close that chapter after an injury-ravaged career at the Theatre of Dreams.

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