Manchester United have made the news of Eric Bailly‘s contract extension official and it seems it’s rubbed a few fans the wrong way.
The talented Ivorian’s deal was set to run out soon before this new contract and there were concerns the club could lose him for free.
United have nipped those rumours in the bud by tying Bailly down but it’s left some supporters wondering whether it was a smart decision.
The former Villareal man has had his fair of injuries since arriving at Old Trafford and that has meant he’s never truly been a reliable option over an extended period of time.
The silver lining in the deal is that Bailly could have opted to leave the club but wanted to stay on and repay Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s faith in him.
Official. Eric Bailly has signed his contract extension with Manchester United – he received approaches from Italian and Spanish clubs, turned down to stay at #MUFC. ???? #ManUtd pic.twitter.com/4oMWdJgJm8
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) April 26, 2021
Bailly on renewing his #mufc contract: "I’m very happy. This decision is something I didn’t have to think about, I love this club and I love playing for Manchester United. I’m happy and so are my family, everything is good." #mulive
— utdreport (@utdreport) April 26, 2021
Fans would react to this news in a rather disappointed manner:
On his day, Eric Bailly is probably one of the best CB’s in the league. Problem is, those days aren’t frequent enough. It’s always been the same pattern with him. He’ll play well for 2-3 games, then would be out injured for the next 4-5. It’s a risk.
— Ryan. ???? (@Vintage_Utd) April 26, 2021
I've always liked Bailly but the new deal seems weird tho. Can't see Ole changing his mind on Maguire & Lindelof partnership for Eric. He could've done that already. Sell on Value? ????????♂️
— ???? Flex ???? (@FlexUTD) April 26, 2021
5 Years at United.
New four year deal.
— All For United (@allforunited) April 26, 2021
That Bailly contract is pure money saving spin. If we had money to spend we'd let him go. And the timing of the announcement lol! No way that would've happened today if the club wasn't under such a cloud of negativity
— Mark Goldbridge (@markgoldbridge) April 26, 2021
I really like Bailly when he's fit & available, but that's the part that will tell whether this was a good decision or not. Time will tell how long he can stay fit.
— Jack (@UtdJackkkk) April 26, 2021
There goes our CB signing btw
— . (@UtdJay2) April 26, 2021
The concerns from fans are completely natural and Bailly has a lot to do to prove he was worth the gamble Solskjaer took.
It wouldn’t be crazy to think the club may have partly handed the aggressive centre-back a new deal because of a need to protect his value and potentially sell him on for more.
Manchester United have adopted a sell first, buy later transfer policy so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Bailly leave soon regardless of his new deal.
Although it wouldn’t be a surprise if he ended up seeing out his new contract either.