Manchester United’s Eric Bailly celebrates after a match [Pool via REUTERS/Carl Recine]
Manchester United are looking to tie Eric Bailly down to a new long-term contract amid interest from clubs across Europe.
The Ivorian defender has just 16 months remaining on his current deal and faces an uncertain future if he does not pen fresh terms by the summer.
Bailly has only recently worked his way back into first-team contention after some rotten luck with injuries, but is now vying with Victor Lindelof for a regular spot in the side.
However, with clubs in Italy and Spain expressing an interest in Bailly, United could offload him at the end of the season if he does not commit to a new deal.
According to The Sun, United are hopeful Bailly will agree to a three-year contract at Old Trafford, even though they are in the market for a new defender.
Should Bailly stall over penning fresh terms though, United would rather cut their losses and sell him for a fee this year than risk losing him for nothing in 2022. Manchester United’s Eric Bailly, left, and Manchester City’s David Silva battle for the ball during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester United and Manchester City at Old Trafford, Manchester, England, Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016. (Martin Rickett/PA via AP)
The 26-year-old has impressed alongside Harry Maguire when called upon but has made just 13 appearances so far this season
Lindelof still appears to be the preferred choice to partner Maguire, yet both he and Bailly could find their game time limited if United bring in a new recruit in the transfer window.
Fiorentina star Nikola Milenkovic has emerged as a target for United as his contract is also nearing its final 12 months.
Reports suggest they could even land the 23-year-old for a relatively modest £30million if Milenkovic is prepared to push for an exit.
Liverpool could rival United for the Serbian, as well as RB Leipzig’s Ibrahima Konate, who is also a target for both clubs.
Sevilla’s Jules Kounde is on United’s radar as well, but would likely set them back more than double Milenkovic’s price tag.