Eric Bailly wants to leave Manchester United after becoming “frustrated” at his lack of gametime, a report has revealed.
Bailly surprisingly signed a new contract with Manchester United in April 2021, when his career was at a similar juncture. It was thought he would look to leave that summer, but instead he was promised more opportunities.
Ultimately, they have not arrived. Reports claimed he felt misled by previous manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. The situation has not improved under interim boss Ralf Rangnick.
So far this season, Bailly has only started three Premier League matches. One came under Solskjaer, one when Michael Carrick was caretaker manager, and one after the appointment of Rangnick.
But his last action for his club was back in December, before he ventured off for the Africa Cup of Nations. Despite returning at the end of January, he has not featured for Manchester United since.
Therefore, ESPN are now reporting that Eric Bailly is one of a number of Man Utd players with “question marks” surrounding their futures.
In Bailly’s case, a “lack of opportunities” have led him to become “frustrated”. Therefore, he is actively “looking to leave” in the summer.
By securing a transfer elsewhere, the Ivory Coast international should be able to find more regular gametime. At 28 years old, that is exactly what he should be getting.
But Man Utd may not be able to guarantee it to him. Ahead of him in the pecking order are Harry Maguire, Raphael Varane and Victor Lindelof. They could yet look to make signings of their own in that position too in the summer.
Bailly would subsequently fall further down the hierarchy. It means it would be in his best interests to find a new club.
The report does not mention where exactly the solution may arrive from. Bailly has previously been linked with the likes of AC Milan and Roma, and even Barcelona. But the last of those links was back in February.
The new contract he agreed to last year is due to run until 2024. United have the option to extend it by a further year, but they may be best off listening to his wishes and cashing in earlier instead.
Bailly cost them more than £34m when they signed him from Villarreal back in 2016. It is not yet clear how much they may be able to receive for him if they decide to sell six years later.
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