Eric Bailly may have played his last game for Manchester United as a full agreement has been reached over his loan to Olympique de Marseille, with semi-compulsory purchase.
Fabrizio Romano has issued his famous “here we go!” tweet this morning to confirm the deal.
The guru said “Eric Bailly deal, completed and here we go confirmed. Been told Bailly will be @ Carrington later today to say goodbye to his teammates – then he will fly to Marseille within 24h in order to join OM.
“Loan with mandatory buy clause if OM will qualify to next UCL.
Eric Bailly deal, completed and here we go confirmed. Been told Bailly will be @ Carrington later today to say goodbye to his teammates – then he will fly to Marseille within 24h in order to join OM. 🚨🔵 #MUFC #OM
Loan with mandatory buy clause if OM will qualify to next UCL. pic.twitter.com/26jh9LvCBz
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) August 23, 2022
This means that a purchase fee and contract has already been agreed for the end of the season, which will be optional if OM don’t qualify for the Champions League next term, but compulsory if they do.
However, according to earlier reports, it is not just OM’s qualification for the Champions League that will make the purchase obligatory.
Bailly also has to play a minimum number of games, suggesting that the French club have concerns about his injury record.
The Ivorian’s career at Old Trafford was a massive disappointment after an incredibly promising start.
His talent and grit were a huge step up on the existing defenders, but unfortunately he became plagued by injuries that saw him miss out on a big chunk of a number of seasons.
An ankle injury saw him out for 100 days in 2017/18 and knee surgery put paid to virtually the entire 2019/20 season (source: Transfermarkt).
Doubts also grew about his concentration and decision-making, with the occasional performances he did muster being littered with rushes of blood to the head and lapses in concentration.
However, throughout all that Bailly was probably one of the most naturally gifted centre backs ever to play for United.