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Eric Bailly offered to Turkish club Fenerbahce this summer with player seemingly unwanted

Manchester United central defender Eric Bailly has reportedly been offered to a number of clubs so far this summer with the latest being Turkish side Fenerbahce, who have had dealing with United in the past five years with Robin van Persie and Nani both signing for the club when they left the Old Trafford club. Just last week, Bailly was offered to AC Milan with the Italian club rejecting the opportunity to sign the Ivorian defender this summer.

The Sun has reported that United have now offered the 26-year-olf to Fenerbahce which makes it look like, despite starting against LASK and FC Copenhagen in the UEFA Europa League, his future at the club is going to be cut short. Whilst that does not seem fair, it has to be considered that the player’s injury record does not look all that great but Phil Jones should be out of the door before him. That said, Bailly’s contract will expire in the summer of 2022 with Jones’ contract expiring a year later.

This season, Bailly has made just 11 first team appearances, making one more in the Premier League 2 playing as one of the three overage outfield players in accordance with the rules at that level, playing jus 780 minutes of football in total this season. United have at least one more match to play this season, against Sevilla in the semi-final of the UEFA Europa League, which could lead to a further and final match of the season if the club reaches the final, which could be against either Inter Milan or Shakhtar Donetsk.

Since signing for United from Villarreal for £30 million during the summer of 2016, under the management of Jose Mourinho, Bailly has suffered four long-term injuries at the club; his first a knee injury seeing him miss eight matches during his debut season at the club. His second injury, a bruise, saw him miss five matches during the 2017/18 season, then suffering an ankle injury that same season, missing 21 matches. The player required knee surgery last summer, missing 28 matches for United, recovering over the Christmas period.

That injury record could stop United trusting the player moving forward. If Jones’ nine years at the club has shown anything, a player that suffers injury after injury is going to be a liability. Jones, who should be forced out of the club before Bailly, is out of action currently after playing just eight times this season. The former England defender has suffered 19 separate injuries in his time at United which has led to him missing 121 matches for the club – this is not ideal at all.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be itching to get his summer rebuild sorted with the aim of getting his squad ready for the new season, which is more than 30 days away – although those English teams still participating in European competition; United and Manchester City, will be granted a later start to the new Premier League season, giving their players a sufficient break before heading into another long season – hopefully not as long as this one, which still has another week and a few days to play.

Written by John Walker

Eric Bailly offered to AC Milan with Italian side not interested – reports

Manchester United central defender Eric Bailly has reportedly been offered to Italian side AC Milan this summer, says The Sun. The Ivorian has seemingly fallen down the pecking order at United and has seen Victor Lindelof predominantly partner Harry Maguire in the centre of the clubs defence. If this is true, it cold well be that Bailly is surplus to requirements at Old Trafford this summer, if United can find a buyer.

It would seem that AC Milan are not the team that would be interested in the Ivorian who signed for United in June 2016 from La Liga side Villarreal for £30 million, signing a four year contract at the time. Back in January, Bailly signed a contract extension which will expire in the summer of 2022, which gives United the opportunity to sell the player this summer, earning funds to continue Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s rebuild.

Italian news source Gazzetta dello Sport is where the report has come from, suggesting that the 26-year-old has been offered to the Serie A club, and seemingly rejected, which is not all that good for United or the player. It could be a similar response from many clubs as they will have seen the fact that Bailly does not have the best injury record at United. In his four years at United, he has missed 62 matches due to injury.

During the 2019/20 season, Bailly have made just 10 appearances for United at first team level, playing once at U23 level as one of the three overage outfield players allowed in conjunction with the Premier League 2 rules and regulations. He has not scored any goals or assists during the course of the season. In four years at the club, Bailly has made 84 appearances, scoring one goal and has played 6,361 minutes of football.

It would seem that with the futures of Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo and Chris Smalling up in the air with Jones hardly featuring for United, Rojo loaned in January and Smalling returning from loan at AS Roma this week, adding Bailly to that list could severely change Solskjaer’s defensive line with suggestions of a new central defender coming to the club this summer, unless Smalling will end up being retained.

That said, the likes of Teden Mengi and Ethan Laird could give rotation options, however, despite being able to play centrally, Laird seems to be a better fullback option. Axel Tuanzebe will play a part somewhere but his own injury record is alarming and could end up costing him his career, but that will be further down the line. This report makes me wonder is Bailly could leave this summer, which could be a big shake up at the club.

Written by John Walker

Could the return of Eric Bailly from injury be the answer to Manchester United's defensive problems?

After the £130 million acquisitions of both Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka, most Manchester United fans believed that the defensive aspect of the team was set to vastly improve, yet the reds currently have the same number of clean sheets in the Premier League as they did after the same amount of games in 2018/2019, three, ranking third bottom.

Maguire was seen as the imposing leader to marshal Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s back four in the model of Virgil van Dijk, yet it was actually his performances in a back three for England in the 2018 World Cup that impressed United so much, leading to him becoming a key transfer target for Jose Mourinho later that summer.

The formation of a back three is something Solskjaer has done previously but only for specialised games against the likes of Sheffield United and Liverpool, although he did suggest in October that he could stick with it and acknowledged Maguire’s role for England.

“Harry and Jonah (Jones) were involved in a back three in a semi-final. Injuries have made us go into this position but it’s working quite well.”

The Red Devils have enough centre backs in the squad to deploy this system yet many have been struck down with injury, mainly Eric Bailly, whose knee ligament damage sustained in pre-season meant the purchase of Maguire was accelerated. Now the Ivorian is back in training, it should be in Solskjaer’s mind to now use him this time in a permanent change of shape to complement his main centre back pairing of Maguire and Victor Lindelöf.

In his first season at the club, Bailly’s pace and recovery speed made him a fan favourite, no more so when he faced up against Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy. United kept the joint highest number of clean sheets in 2016/2017 with Bailly being United’s highest rated central defender in his debut campaign, making both 2.4 tackles and interceptions per game

Since then he has suffered both short and long-term injuries, but has had some key performances, most recently against Chelsea in April 2019, where Bailly won all of his aerial duels and tackles whilst making six key interceptions, before going off with an unfortunate knee injury.

So far this season in Bailly’s absence we have seen Maguire often having to be pulled out wide into uncomfortable positions to cover for the lack of tracking back from Luke Shaw, most recently in the first half of the 2-0 defeat against Arsenal where Alexandre Lacazette turned him inside out before getting a shot away on goal. 

In the 2018 World Cup, Maguire was deployed in a back three with Manchester City’s Kyle Walker and John Stones alongside him. Walker was positioned there by Gareth Southgate to allow Maguire and Stones to step into midfield and play the ball out from the back without them feeling exposed as Walker had the pace to cover, a role Bailly could easily perform in United’s side.

When looking at Lindelöf, he is often a player who tends to get too tight to opposition strikers, giving away needless free-kicks which then teams subsequently target him on. United have conceded eight goals from set pieces this season, compared to Manchester City’s four, Liverpool’s three and Leicester’s two. He was exposed on a number of occasions earlier in the season against Southampton and Crystal Palace, leading to Mourinho to state of the Swede on Sky Sports:

“Lindelöf is very, very good in some aspects of the game, but he can be bullied in the one by one in the box, he’s not especially good in the air.”

If Bailly was played in a back three, his spring and fearlessness may mean opposition teams might not target Lindelöf so much, leading to him being able to focus on having the ball at his feet and playing it into the midfield and the strikers to start attacks. A back three would also allow other players in the defence to advance up the pitch, such as Wan-Bissaka and Brandon Williams, who would attack more in wing back roles and not have to get back and perform as many recovery tackles.

However, the question remains, can Bailly can stay injury free? Having missed over 300 days in his three-and-a-half seasons at the club, will he firstly be able to cement a place in the team and then secondly, forge a sustainable understanding with Maguire and Lindelöf? His injury record preceeds him but there is no doubting his ability to potentially perform such a role. The stats are now that desperate that something needs to change for Solskjaer.

Written by Alex Metcalfe

Eric Bailly could recover from knee injury earlier than expected – reports

Manchester United defender Eric Bailly has reportedly given the club a boost after it has been reported that he was eyeing an early return to action after knee surgery, which was due to keep him out of action until the Christmas period, whether that was a return to training or a date which would have rendered him ready to play again.

The reports come from ESPN FC, who obviously have a source of information that they trust. It is suggested that the Ivorian will target a November return, after the international break, meaning that Bailly could be back to face Sheffield United away, FC Astana away, or even Aston Villa at Old Trafford.

The 25-year-old suffered an injury to his left knee back in April, which ruled him out for the rest of the season, then playing a part in pre-season, aiming to get himself fit for the new season, Bailly injured his right knee against Tottenham Hotspur in China, meaning he was going to be out for at least the first half of the season.

United has suffered a fair share of injuries this season so far with Luke Shaw out for about a month after suffering a thigh injury in the defeat to Crystal Palace at Old Trafford on the 24 August. Added to that, Aaron Wan-Bissaka withdrew from the England squad this month with a back injury and Jesse Lingard withdrew because of illness.

United also has Diogo Dalot on the sidelines with an injury and he recently flew to China to try and solve that ahead of his return to action. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer also has Anthony Martial out of action with a thigh injury, Paul Pogba with an ankle injury and Tim Fosu-Mensah also recovering from a knee injury.

At this moment in time, Bailly is not a player who is missed in the centre of defence as the likes of Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire have been doing well of late, depending on which way you want to react over the conceded goal against Palace which saw the latter covering for the injured Shaw in the run up to the goal.

Other than Lindelof and Maguire, Solskjaer has Axel Tuanzebe, Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo to utilise in defence. Although, once Bailly is fit and ready to play, it will probably bring the end of Rojo’s career at the club as he aimed to leave this summer, a move to Everton falling through. He is being linked to Aston Villa right now though.

Bailly will obviously give United and Solskjaer a boost with him injury return, if the reports are true but he should have a period whereby he plays for the U23s, if they can accommodate him, to ensure that he’s ready and able to fight for a starting position within the first team once again. If so, he can be used as rotation.

United may still be fighting in three tournaments at the time of his reported return from injury; the Premier League, Carabao Cup and UEFA Europa League, with the Emirates FA Cup coming up in January. Solskjaer will need to have as many players fit to overcome these matches, which more often than not will see the club playing twice a week.

Manchester United to discuss contract extension with Ivorian defender Eric Bailly

Manchester United are reportedly set to commence talks with central defender Eric Bailly in order to get him to commit to the club with the offer of a new contract. The Ivory Coast defender will be out of contract next summer, although there is the option to trigger the additional year on the contract he signed in the summer of 2016.

Bailly suffered a knee ligament injury at the end of last season, undergoing surgery which he is yet to recover from. He is expected to be on the sidelines until the Christmas period, which may mean he will not be able to play until January 2020 with him needing to reach a level of match fitness, which may happen with the U23s.

It is expected that the 25-year-old still has a future at the Old Trafford club despite the arrival of Victor Lindelof two years ago and the arrival of Harry Maguire this summer. There are even reports that there is a clause in Bailly’s contract which means the club can extend his commitment to the club for a further two years, whether that is true or not, I don’t know.

An apparent source from the Old Trafford club spoke to the media, where it was relayed that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was a fan of the player and that he is still wanted at the club. Personally, I see Lindelof and Maguire as the first-choice partnership right now with Axel Tuanzebe ahead of Phil Jones and Chris Smalling. Marcos Rojo seems unwanted. The source said:

“The club want Eric to stay and are looking for talks about an extension.

“We don’t want to lose him on a free transfer next summer. It’s just down to both parties agreeing to everything.

“His injury record isn’t a major concern for us. We just think he has been unlucky with everyone over the last few years.

“Ole is a fan of the player and we’re going to convince him to stay, at least that is the plan at present.”

The report states that Bailly will be free to discuss moves with other European clubs from the 1 January 2020, which will only be true if his extra year, which was an agreement in his contract which was signed in 2016 is not activated. Obviously, just like David De Gea’s clause, it will be activated if talks extend into the Christmas period.

However, with nothing else for Bailly to do during his period of recovery, he will most likely have the time to talk about a possible renewal and when he has recovered and is fit to play again, he can work on winning a place in the team once more. Bailly, when fit, is a capable central defender who in his first season at the club, did well to establish himself.

What next for Eric Bailly? The Ivorian faces battle for Manchester United future

Eric Bailly joined Manchester United in July 2016 from Villarreal CF for a reported fee of £30 million. He was José Mourinho’s first signing as United manager and made an immediate impact at the club, quickly climbing the pecking order to start most of the early games in the 2016/17 season. The rest of that season was stop-start for Bailly, as injury and absence due to the 2017 African Cup of Nations meant he was in and out of the team.

He ended his first season at United under suspension, having been sent off against RC Celta de Vigo in the UEFA Europa League semi-final second leg at Old Trafford. Bailly had to watch the final from the side-lines and only played in United’s final few league games, which were effectively dead-rubber as the club could not finish any higher than sixth.

United purchased Victor Lindelöf a year after Bailly arrived. Fans and pundits alike believed this would become José Mourinho’s preferred centre-back pairing at the club and it seemed as though the Portuguese tactician had begun to stamp his authority on the team. However, the two rarely played together as a pairing in 2017/18, with Chris Smalling being Lindelöf’s most regular partner. They did begin the 2018/19 season as the first-choice pairing but Bailly was dropped by Mourinho after an error-strewn performance in the 3-2 defeat at Brighton and Hove Albion.

United’s then-manager then reverted to favouring the Lindelöf-Smalling combination for the last few months of his tenure. Bailly’s continued absence after that defeat led many to believe that he had fallen out with his manager. While initially not preferred under then-caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, he was awarded an opportunity to stake his claim for a place in the team over the busy festive period of the Premier League season.

Bailly wasted this opportunity, getting sent off against Bournemouth after a needless and rash tackle. He returned from suspension and made a few appearances before suffering a knee injury against Chelsea that would result in the end of his season as well as his exclusion from the Ivory Coast’s AFCON squad. United set a new record for the number of goals conceded by the club in a Premier League season in 2018/19. As such, they have been actively searching for defensive reinforcements in the transfer market.

Right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka has already been purchased from Crystal Palace, effectively to replace departed former club captain Antonio Valencia. In addition to this, Axel Tuanzebe has returned from a successful loan spell at Aston Villa, strengthening United’s options at centre-back. The club is also on the hunt for a top-level centre-back to regularly partner Victor Lindelöf, the most consistent central defender at the club in 2018/19.

Tuanzebe’s impressive showings on tour thus far has caused supporters to fear that Bailly is going to be left out in the cold, even if United were to sell one of the other centre-backs currently in the squad to offset the purchase of another. This has led to Bailly being linked with a move away from the club, perhaps to the French Ligue 1, which he has apparently rejected. This should definitely be seen as a positive for United. Bailly, while also injury prone like Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo, is the youngest of the trio at 25 and likely possesses the highest ceiling.

His performances since he signed have also demonstrated the fact that, when fully fit, he is the superior defender in terms of his physicality and ball-playing ability. United’s injury woes in defence over the last few seasons have nixed the development of any possible central defensive partnership. Jones and Rojo formed an unlikely but strong combination in late 2016 before injuries side-lined them both. Lindelöf and Smalling meanwhile, have the potential to become a formidable duo as they possess complementary traits.

Their recent partnership however, has been less than impressive. This of course, has been underlined by United’s struggles in defence in general. Wan-Bissaka’s signing means United finally have a specialist right-back with Premier League experience to occupy the position for the foreseeable future. Combine that with Lindelöf and Luke Shaw’s performances from last season and it appears the club are one player defender from finally having a settled back four again after a number of years. While it does not appear likely that Bailly will be the one to complete this regular defence, he still has a role to play in the coming years.

United fans, who have not seen their team defend with any kind of solidity over the past few seasons, would welcome the prospect of Solskjaer having a secondary back four of Diogo Dalot, Tuanzebe, Bailly and Ashley Young, who may even be replaced by a specialist left-back before next season. These players, along with Smalling, Jones and Rojo offer Solskjaer a variety of options, including using a three-man defence, which he did on occasion last season. They could also step in when one of his preferred first-choice defenders are unavailable due to suspension or injury.

Bailly remaining at the club could also be a significant boost for the development of Tuanzebe. The two share many similar traits in that they are physically dominant, good with the ball at their feet and possess decent pace. They have also both been used at right-back by José Mourinho for these reasons, which is where Bailly started the second leg of the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 tie away at Paris Saint-Germain, before being forced off through injury.

Tuanzebe is one of the best young defenders to emerge from the academy in recent times and Solskjaer has promised to give him the opportunity to reach his full potential. Having a similar player who is more experienced to play alongside and learn from will certainly be a benefit for the 21-year-old, who has previously found opportunities limited at United. In his tenure thus far, Solskjaer has not been afraid to play United’s younger, inexperienced players, even when the team is struggling.

Notable instances of this include giving debuts to Tahith Chong and Mason Greenwood in important games last season. This bodes well for both Tuanzebe and Bailly, as they can expect to be given opportunities to stake a claim for a regular place in United’s defence over the course of the season, particularly in the Europa League and domestic cup competitions.

All told, Bailly is still very young for a defender and has plenty of time on his side. In previous eras, United’s better centre-backs were purchased when they were around their mid-20s, after cutting their teeth at other clubs, either locally or abroad. Bailly, of course, already has three seasons worth of experience in the Premier League and may still have his best years ahead of him, provided he can improve his fitness and shake off these persistent injuries. He should be given the opportunity to reach the peak of his abilities while still playing for United. If he does so, he will not be the only one to benefit.

Written by Shiven Nayager

Eric Bailly linked to Lyon by L’Equipe, however, this sort of speculation is not the first time for the player

Manchester United defender Eric Bailly is a target for Lyon this summer, according to reports in France. In their reports about Tanguy Ndombele signing for Tottenham Hotspur this summer, L’Equipe suggested that the French club were in the market for a defender and that Bailly was their primary target.

Bailly has been recovering from a medial ligament injury sustained against Chelsea on the 29 April, ending his season at the club. The Ivorian has suffered many injuries at United since signing for the club on a four-year contract in the summer of 2016. His latest injury kept him out of the Ivory Coast squad for the Africa Cup of Nations this summer.

The reports in L’Equipe also mentions Arsenal’s Laurent Koscielny and Sampdoria’s Joachim Andersen as targets. No fee has been stated at all and it seems like this could just be speculation with no credible link, however, with the fact that Bailly has made just 36 appearances for United in the last two seasons, making 38 in his debut season, it could well be an option for him.

Bailly has suffered four major injuries during his time at United, including the one he is currently recovering from. He has missed a total of 36 matches so far in his short time at the club. He has also missed a total of seven matches through suspension, including the UEFA Europa League final in 2017 in which United beat Ajax.

When he arrived at United, under Jose Mourinho, the Ivorian was the best defender at the club in his debut season, playing 38 matches in all competitions, however, in his second season, he started to suffer injuries, was often rash which resulted in suspensions. Under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Bailly has made just eight appearances for United, starting six of those and being sent off in his first, a 4-1 victory over Bournemouth.

Obviously, injury and suspension stopped him from playing more matches but a poor performance against Paris Saint-Germain (in both matches) will not have helped him. At this moment in time, the 25-year-old will be looking to recover from his knee injury and get himself fit ahead of the new season. Whether he has a future at the club remains unknown at this moment in time. Perhaps Bailly has a chance to redeem himself and become the defender he was in his first season?

Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof: The next world class centre-back pairing at Manchester United?

Having signed for Manchester United for a combined £60 million, it may come as a surprise to many that Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelöf have only made two appearances together in competitive games in the 14 months following the Swede’s arrival from Benfica in 2017, the second of these appearances coming in United’s 2-1 victory over Leicester City on Friday.

Jose Mourinho and Manchester United were desperate to acquire a centre-back in the summer transfer window, with Harry Maguire reportedly the Reds top target. However, after a manic Deadline Day, United’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward was unable to secure the signature of a central defender, much to the frustration of manager Jose Mourinho, which could in fact be a blessing in disguise for the red side of Manchester, following the impressive world cup display of the Swedish Victor Lindelöf.

Lindelöf, described by former United man Zlatan Ibrahimović as “ready” for a top club, made thirty-five passes in the game against Leicester City and is United’s more modern ‘ball playing’ centre-half out of the two, who can bring the ball out of defence and start attacks for the club. Eric Bailly made six clearances and won five duels in the same match-making him the more traditional no-nonsense physical defender, with a similar play style to United legends Nemanja Vidić and Jaap Stam.

Given the chance, Bailly and Lindelöf could be able to form a defensive understanding and partnership synonymous to the reds throughout their success ridden years at the top of European football.

Although, Eric Bailly missed 25 of United’s 38 league games last season down to a combination of injuries and the fact that Jose Mourinho preferred both Chris Smalling and Phil Jones ahead of the Ivory Coast international. This suggests that the manager may not trust him in the centre of the defence and that he may not be able to complete a run of games together that allow a strong partnership between himself and Lindelöf.

Furthermore, Lindelöf didn’t fill the United fans with much optimism last season, making high-profile mistakes throughout the beginning of his career at Old Trafford, most notably gifting Huddersfield their second goal in their 2-1 victory over the red devils at the John Smith’s stadium in October 2017, meaning he may not be ready to become United’s first choice centre-back just yet.

However, as a partnership, Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelöf are able to play to one another’s strengths. Bailly can win the ball back using his physicality, and play it to Lindelöf who can then bring the reds out of defence quickly, starting an attack with speed by finding a pass to one of United’s more dynamic attacking players; allowing them to turn defence into attack at a rate united fans expect, as opposed to the slower paced football that has been seen at Old Trafford following Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement in 2013.

If the pair can collect a run of games together at the heart of United’s defence, and given their youth, they have the potential to be the Red Devils partnership for the next ten years and become famed as one of the Premier League’s most successful and complimentary defensive partnerships.

Written by Dominic Pelleymounter

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.”

Reports state that Jose Mourinho could sell Eric Bailly but it seems to be supposition rather than fact

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho is reportedly ‘so frustrated’ with Ivory Coast defender Eric Bailly that he could sell him, according to the Independent. Bailly has started just one match for United since the Manchester derby on the 7th April 2018 in which United came from 2-0 down to beat Manchester City 3-2. The reason suggested for the frustration is because Mourinho has been unable to pick the 24-year-old for a number of reasons.

Earlier in May, Mourinho suggested he was not using the Ivorian because his country had not made the FIFA World Cup in Russia this summer, therefore allowing the other players in defence, most of whom could appear for their respective countries in the competition this summer. Bailly started against Watford in the final Premier League match of the season just over a week ago and his performance earmarked him, by supporters, for a spot in the FA Cup final squad on Saturday. He was part of the squad but did not play.

Mourinho gave reasons for Bailly’s lack of inclusion, because of players wanting to make their respective World Cup teams, saying:

“There’s no situation, he is fine, no injury. He is one of our five central defenders and honestly my work is not about World Cups and preparing players for the World Cup or giving chances to players at the World Cup, but he’s the only central defender whose country is not in the World Cup.

“So if I have to make a kind of more emotional effective choice to help my players he’s the one I’m not going to help. Rojo, Lindelof, Jones, Smalling, all of them are wishing to make the squad for the World Cup and Eric is not under that pressure.

“I try to be a good team manager and that means a bit cold, a bit selfish but I’m not as bad as that and I still have space for a little bit of feelings so when I look to the other four central defenders fighting for a position in the World Cup I am giving less to Eric.”

Of course, this report from the Independent, written by Miguel Delaney is highly speculative and more of an opinion than fact. When Manchester United lose a match, the media seem to assemble every piece of negative news they have, birth speculation that they can use it to demonstrate fact throughout the summer, then when the player they are saying could be sold, is still at the club, they forget all about the lies they created and spread as if they were facts.

We are in silly season now, there is going to be a lot of misinformation as the media aim to drive traffic to their sites to coin in the cash, which is seemingly what they do every season and seems to get worse each and every transfer window. They link players to United, link players with an exit, on the supposition that anything can happen, then if it does, and their whim become an actual fact, they claim they were first out with the information. It seems to be all about the ego, rather than informing people of actual news.

copyright: JW