Eric Bailly could be set for January exit with North London clubs watching on – report

Eric Bailly could be set for January exit with North London clubs watching on – report

Out-of-favour Manchester United defender Eric Bailly is ready to accept an exit from the club in the coming months, according to the Mirror.

Bailly was signed by Jose Mourinho in the Portuguese’s first summer at the club, penning a deal at the club after a £30 million transfer from Villarreal.

He has often looked like Mourinho’s best defender. But after a poor performance against Brighton & Hove Albion at the start of the season in a 3-2 defeat, Bailly was dropped by Mourinho despite being one of many who failed to play their best on that day.

The Ivorian came on as a late substitute in games against Burnley and Watford, either side of the international break. But it does now look as if Bailly has dropped significantly down Mourinho’s defensive pecking order after giving away a penalty in that defeat to Brighton.

John Cross reports in The Mirror that with interest from Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur, Bailly could be set to leave.

The 24-year-old would improve both defences. Mauricio Pochettino’s side made no signings in the summer, the first club to do so since the advent of the Premier League in 1992, and could lose Toby Alderweireld next season, among others. Bailly would boost Pochettino’s options and increase competition in the side.

At Arsenal, meanwhile, new signing Unai Emery has brought in Sokratis Papastathopoulos from Borussia Dortmund but at 30, Bailly could be a longer term option at the Emirates.

It would be a great shame were Bailly to leave. He remains United’s best defender on paper. Sometimes he’s unnecessarily rash, as against Brighton, but his passing and vision is far greater than Chris Smalling’s and his pace is superb.

He needs improvements, but Bailly should certainly not be sold to a Premier League rival.

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About The Author

Founder of Academy Man Utd. Manchester United Editor at VAVEL UK. Host of the Manchester United Weekly Podcast. Youth football coach in North London.