Sunday, May 29, 2022

AC Milan Keen On Signing Manchester United Defender: Should Rangnick Cut Him Loose?

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Pratik Das
The youngest member of The 4th Official and an ardent Premier League fan who is basically obsessed with scouting young talents and is consumed by the idea of finding the perfect number 10.

Recent reports from Foot Mercato claim that AC Milan are keen on signing Manchester United defender Eric Bailly in the ongoing transfer window as Stefano Pioli looks set to add to his defensive options.

The Italian outfit had Sven Botman (LOSC Lille) and Abdou Diallo (PSG) as primary targets; however, with the respective clubs refusing to let them go, Bailly has emerged as the priority target. Milan wish to secure a loan move for the player before the end of the January transfer window as both Fikayo Tomori and Simon Kjaer are injured. His wages are an issue, though.

AS Roma are also interested in the 27-year-old defender, with Jose Mourinho particularly keen on signing him.

Eric Bailly’s Stint At Old Trafford

Bailly joined Manchester United from La Liga side Villarreal in the summer of 2016 for a fee in the region of £30 million. Although Mourinho claimed that he has the potential to be ‘one of the best around’, it would be an understatement to say that injuries have hampered his career to a large extent. Over the last six years, the central defender has made 113 appearances for the Red Devils, with most of them coming in the Cup fixtures.

Manchester United's Eric Bailly
Manchester United’s Ivorian defender Eric Bailly runs with the ball during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Manchester United at Stamford Bridge in London on November 28, 2021. (Photo by BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images)
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Furthermore, with the arrival of Raphael Varane last summer, Bailly slipped down the pecking order – behind the likes of skipper Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof. Hence, even if the Ivory Coast international ends up staying in Manchester beyond this transfer window, there’s no guarantee about his playing time whatsoever.

Should Rangnick Cut Him Loose?

Manchester United are in dire need of a holding midfielder, but further signings aren’t possible without exits. Anthony Martial apparently had to accept a wage reduction to secure a loan move to Sevilla, and Bailly might have to do the same. Nonetheless, under all circumstances, Rangnick should welcome his departure.

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