Manchester United defender Eric Bailly is reportedly wanted by Premier League rivals Arsenal and Tottenham, with both north London clubs ‘pursuing’ the Ivorian centre-back after he has fallen out of favour and become ‘unsettled’ at Old Trafford.
Bailly has played just 21 minutes of Premier League action since a complete horror show in the shock defeat against Brighton back in August and a report published earlier this week claimed the £30m player will leave the club if a buyer is found.
That version of events is contested by Duncan Castles writing for the Daily Record, a journalist known for his close connections with United boss Jose Mourinho.
Castles explains that Mourinho believes Bailly possesses all the attributes to become an ‘elite’ defender. His report also notes that United were not interested in selling the former Villarreal talent in summer and have not changed their stance now.
Whether Bailly, who is said to be ‘deeply disappointed’ at getting so little playing time, has the patience to wait it out until his chance comes back around remains to be seen.
According to Castles, both Arsenal and Tottenham made enquiries about Bailly’s availability during the summer and have each ‘reaffirmed’ interest in the months since. It would therefore seem that should United actually decide to sell there wouldn’t be a shortage of interest or offers.
Arsenal signed Sokratis Papastathopoulos in the summer but manager Unai Emery has spoken already this season about the need for his free scoring Gunners team to find defensive balance.
Tottenham, meanwhile, may soon find themselves in a position where they need to replace Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, or both, as the Belgians near the end of their current contracts.