Eric Bailly to speak to Jose Mourinho about his role at Manchester United

Manchester United defender Eric Bailly is reportedly seeking talks with Jose Mourinho this summer to sort out his long-term future at the Old Trafford club. The 24-year-old signed for United in the summer of 2016 as Mourinho’s first signing but last season, after suffering an injury for a long spell, he ended the season on the sidelines behind both Chris Smalling and Phil Jones, who had emerged ahead of him. The Ivorian does not want to be in that position heading into the new season, neither do the club’s supporters.

Bailly was sidelined with both a back and ankle injury from November 2017 to February 2018 and the Smalling/Jones partnership is not something the Ivorian could break. Bailly wants to speak to the Portuguese manager to see what lies ahead for him this coming season. Bailly is said to be happy at the Old Trafford club, he just does not want to spend the majority of the season on the bench, as many will understand. Over the last two years, Bailly has been one of, if not the best central defender at the club.

The Ivorian was left out of the Emirates FA Cup final in May, despite playing in the final Premier League match of the season. Mourinho’s suggestion at the time was that he wanted to pick the players who were heading to the FIFA World Cup in Russia this summer. Mourinho signed Bailly from Villarreal in the summer of 2016 for £30 million and at the time, many United supporters had not heard of him and soon moaned about his arrival. How soon that changed.

During his first season at the club, Bailly made 37 starts in all competitions but missed the UEFA Europa League final after being suspended, which also saw him miss the UEFA Super Cup match against Real Madrid at the start of the past season, which United lost 2-1. Bailly has two years remaining on his current contract, which like all other players who have either signed for the club or renewed their contracts in the past five years, will have a clause to add a further year onto his contract.

There are no suggestions that United want to sell Bailly, neither that he has stated anywhere that he wants to leave the Theatre of Dreams. However, you can understand the fact that he wants to continue his development, as a first choice defender at the club. This summer, Mourinho has been seeking a more experienced defender with Toby Alderweireld hotly linked, among others. Whether this would change the course of things for Bailly, who would almost certainly be the partner for any new signing or see Smalling and Jones on the sidelines.

Bailly has been preparing for United’s pre-season tour of the United States of America in which the club will face Club America, San Jose Earthquakes, AC Milan, Liverpool and Real Madrid, before heading to Munich, Germany to face Bayern Munich just six days before the start of the new Premier League season. Speaking about the preparations this summer, in which he mentions nothing about the above report, carried by the official Manchester United website, Bailly said:

“Playing big matches against big teams like Barcelona and others is brilliant. This year we have teams like Real Madrid. It was a really good experience (last year) and I hope that this year we can prepare as well as we did last year.

“It’s very good to play these kinds of games because it helps with your preparations for the new season and with your fitness. It’s always good to play against the big teams and test yourself against the best players.”

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