Fulham have reportedly made a bid for unwanted Manchester United defender Eric Bailly. The Sun has reported that the newly-promoted Premier League club will battle AS Roma and Sevilla for the services of the Ivorian this summer, seemingly on a permanent deal with the other two clubs seeking a loan spell.
Obviously United would like to get rid of Bailly, removing his wages from the books and cashing in on his worth, which will continue to decline in the run up to his contract expiring in the summer of 2024. Last season the Ivorian made just seven appearances in all competitions, which suggests that his time is up.
It is possible that there will be more departures in the defensive ranks at United with Phil Jones, Axel Tuanzebe, Brandon Williams, Alex Telles and Aaron Wan-Bissaka all seemingly surplus to requirements but getting all of them out of the club this summer would involve a lot of work and persuasion.
Fulham has played in the Premier League before and it is always their defence that lets them down, so changing that this summer could be the difference in them being relegated again or staying up. Manager Marco Silva feels that Bailly could be the difference there as he is not a bad defender, just unreliable based on his injury record.
However, that could change if he plays regularly as that has never really been the case at United and would not like happy under the management of Erik ten Hag from this summer either, so his time at the Old Trafford club seems to be on borrowed time. Sports journalist Pete O’Rourke has weighed in on the potential deal, saying:
“Fulham have an offer on the table for Manchester United defender Eric Bailly, but face a fight to persuade him to move to Craven Cottage. Sevilla and Roma are also both chasing Bailly who could be allowed to leave Old Trafford.”
Obviously playing for either Sevilla or Roma would give him UEFA Champions League or UEFA Europa League respectively, which might be better than just playing in domestic competition, but in six years he has settled in the Premier League and could do well staying in the competition.
With Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane all certain of first team football this season, Bailly would probably player fewer matches than last season, which would be a waste. He should be seeking to find his future away from United and getting on the straight and narrow regarding the rest of his career.
It is also suggested that AC Milan are keeping tabs on the player this summer, which gives him four options should all of the clubs interested in him make a move. That would be something that United would welcome, as long as they are permanent offers as the club will not want him back next summer, which would see them in the same boas as this summer – trying to get rid of him.
Written by John Walker