Home » Eric Bailly edging closer to Roma move

Eric Bailly edging closer to Roma move

Mourinho wants to reunite with United defender

by Ayantan Chowdhury

Erik ten Hag had made it a priority to improve the defence when he was appointed Manchester United manager after last season’s horror show. And he has done exactly that with the addition of Lisandro Martinez, who is expected to play as the left centre half.

The Argentine’s addition has meant United currently have seven senior centre backs in the squad, including Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof, Raphael Varane, Eric Bailly, Axel Tuanzebe and Phil Jones.

Tuanzebe and Jones are expected to leave this window and despite impressive showings in pre-season, Bailly is also set to join them with AS Roma interested in his services.

Jose Mourinho, the current Roma boss, wants to bring the Ivory Coast international to Rome and talks are underway between both clubs.

The Serie A giants are looking at a loan deal with an option to buy, a tactic they used with former United defender Chris Smalling.

According to Gazzetta dello Sport, Bailly will also need to take a pay cut as Roma will not be able to afford Bailly’s current wages.

According to the same publication (via Romapress), the 28-year-old centre-back has already approved of the move and wants to join the Giallorossi in this transfer window.

Sports Journalist Nicolò Schira has revealed that talks have been opened between both parties.

Bailly’s United chapter to end?

The former Villareal defender was Mourinho’s first buy as United manager and despite a brilliant first season, a mixture of injuries and inconsistency has meant that Bailly has never really managed to do justice to his talents.

The most games he has played in a single season is 38 games in his debut season. Last season he played only 7 times and has amassed a total of 113 appearances in his six-year spell.

His all-action style has played a big part in his injuries and suspensions and that has impacted his ability to put in consistent run of games. He has missed 103 games due to injuries sustained in his United career.

Roma general manager Tiago Pinto has been told by Mourinho that he wants to bring Bailly to the Serie A and he could be available for as little as £10 million. United had splurged £30 million for his services back in 2016-17.

Roma already have the likes of Nemanja Matic and Smalling in their ranks and Bailly could be the latest Red Devil to head to Italy.

Ten Hag gave Bailly chances in pre-season and he once again impressed with his overall play including two marauding runs which led to goals against Liverpool and Melbourne Victory.

But with Martinez’s arrival, Bailly has further gone down the pecking order and he wants guarantees with regards to playing time, something the Dutch manager cannot give at the moment.

It might be time for fans to bid adieu to a favourite of theirs. Despite his potential, Bailly has never truly reached the heights expected of him and United need to look to the future instead of relying on another injury-prone defender.

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