Eric Bailly has issued a goodbye message to Manchester United fans following confirmation of his transfer from Old Trafford to Besiktas.
Fabrizio Romano broke the news that United and Besiktas had reached an agreement for Bailly’s move to the Turkish Super Lig.
The Red Devils subsequently put out an official statement verifying Romano’s report.
Earlier today, Besiktas unveiled the Ivorian as the latest addition to their ranks. He put pen to paper on a one-year deal lasting until June 2024, after which he will become a free agent if Şenol Güneş’ side elect not to retain his services beyond the period of his contract.
Asbaşkanımız Emre Kocadağ, Yeni Transferimiz Eric Bailly ile Bir Araya Geldi
— Beşiktaş JK (@Besiktas) September 6, 2023
Bailly took to social media where he bid farewell to United fans.
He wrote, “As I leave this club after many years of incredible memories, outstanding teammates, and trophies, I want to express my profound gratitude.”
“This chapter may be closing, but the friendships and memories will forever remain in my heart.”
He added, “The fans here are the real champions. Thanks.”
As I leave this club after many years of incredible memories, outstanding teammates, and trophies, I want to express my profound gratitude. This chapter may be closing, but the friendships and memories will forever remain in my heart. The fans here are the real champions. Thanks… pic.twitter.com/Igjebt10Lz
— Eric Bailly (@ericbailly24) September 6, 2023
As the defender embarks on a new adventure in Turkey, no doubt fans will retain fond memories of a player who never really met the high expectations set when he completed a £30m switch from Villareal in 2016.
Alongside inconsistencies that ensured he never really nailed down a regular starting berth under any manager he played under, Bailly’s tenure at the Theatre of Dreams was marred by recurring injuries and physical niggles.
During his seven years in England, the 29-year-old only managed 70 Premier League appearances across six seasons, with a further 17 Ligue 1 appearances while on loan with Marseille last term.
Hopefully, Besiktas give Bailly the opportunity and environment to enjoy football to the fullest.