Manchester United central defender Eric Bailly could reportedly snub a reunion with former manager Jose Mourinho, who is currently managing AS Roma for a switch back to La Liga with Sevilla. The Sun has reported that the 28-year-old is in talks with the Spanish club ahead of a potential switch this summer.
It has been reported any times that Erik ten Hag would not have a place for the defender in his squad this season but initial reports suggested that the Ivorian would fight for his place in the team. He initially had a positive pre-season campaign with United in Thailand and Australia but was used sparingly.
With the signing of Lisandro Martinez this summer, it would suggest that the Argentinian and Harry Maguire could be the first choice defensive pairing with Victor Lindelof and Raphael Varane as the other pairing, with rotation happening throughout the season. It would seen Bailly would only get a chance if an injury occurred.
Of course, injury is something Bailly has known, missing more than 50% of the appearances he could have made for the club because of him being unavailable, largely due to injury, which has stagnated his career under two different managers; Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjær, not forgetting Ralf Rangnick, who did not use him much.
Initially, when the player was seemingly seeking to fight for his place at the club, I saw him as selfish and just wanting to stay at the club for his wages, but perhaps he really wants to kick on, which will have to be at another club. It would seem that Mourinho would want him on loan, which is not ideal for United.
The Old Trafford club should be seeking to sell him permanently, getting that business done once they have signed the main players that they want to sign this summer, delving back into the transfer market once players have been sold. Defensive counterpart Phil Jones could also leave the club – having no place in this new era of the club.
It is suggested that AC Milan are also keeping tabs on the Ivorian’s situation at United, which is ideal as it will give him options. However, having played in La Liga before for Villarreal, it could been the most likely departure for him this summer, especially having lost Jules Kounde to Barcelona earlier this summer.
Bailly was one of Mourinho’s first signings at United in the summer of 2016 and in that time the Ivorian has made 113 appearances for the club, which could have been double that had it not been for injury, scoring one goal and one assist. During his career at United, Bailly has won one FA Community Shield, one EFL Cup and one UEFA Europa League.
It was obvious that his career at the Old Trafford club was coming to an end as he made just 12 appearances in the 2019/20 season, making 21 appearances in the 2020/21 season which fell to just seven appearances in the 2021/22 season. The player seemed to have the right attitude to fight for his place but must have realised that his future lies away from Manchester.
Written by John Walker