Manchester United’s pursuit of Eric Bailly has developed rapidly over the last week.
It has gone from an initial rumour to the point here a deal is expected to be completed very soon in just a matter of days and the latest from Duncan Castles suggested a €35m price had been agreed.
However, while Gianluca di Marzio stresses the deal is indeed close to being finalised, he says the fee will be an initial €32m plus €8m add-ons which would take the overall price to €40m.
It’s a lot of money on the surface but nobody is surprised by fees upwards of €40m in today’s market for footballers because of how much cash there is floating around in the game. Jose Mourinho was never going to waste his time in the transfer window looking for value and we’re now very close to pushing our first deal over the line.
Villareal’s chief has already made it clear Bailly can join Man United so long as the price is right and it’s good to see we’ve avoided dithering and over negotiating on a price like we’ve done so often in the last three years.
In terms of how that would leave our defence, I don’t think anybody feels Bailly’s arrival would complete the squad. Ideally, we’d still bring in one more experienced centre-back and then move Daley Blind back into midfield. Then we’d have Smalling, Bailly, another new signing plus Phil Jones and the likes of Timothy Fosu-Mensah available to play there – that’s some great squad depth.
With Euro 2016 starting in a few days, there is every chance we’ll hear confirmation of Bailly before France kick off against Romania on Friday.