A huge part of Manchester United’s summer window will be about moving players on, and with Dean Henderson, Alex Telles, and Eric Bailly returning from loan spells, they are primed to be the first players off the books on permanent transfers.
And now Bailly has caught the eye of La Liga side Real Betis, with their new sporting director Ramón Planes closely monitoring his situation.
That is according to Mundo Deportivo, who claim that Planes has closely followed the Ivorian defender’s development since his time in the youth setup at RCD Espanyol. The sporting director worked as a technical secretary during Bailly’s time in Catalonia and has watched his progress closely, according to the Spanish outlet.
Man United hold absolutely no illusions over the likelihood of recouping the €38m spent on the Ivory Coast star.
His spell at Olympique Marseille last term has certainly done nothing to inflate his value, with the player missing a remarkable 77 days through injury.
Bailly’s performances when he did take to the field were fraught with a mixture of inconsistency, chaos, and calamity.
He was forced to serve a seven-match suspension for an outrageous high boot into Almike Moussa N’Diaye during a French Cup match against fourth-tier Hyères 83 FC.
Marseille had an option to buy Bailly for just €7m as part of the loan agreement with United, but it surprised absolutely nobody when they chose against triggering the clause.
Now, with form and fitness in question and only one year remaining on his contract with The Red Devils, the club will likely let him leave for less than that sum.
Getting his reported £80,000-a-week off the books would in some ways be its own reward for Man United, potentially free up room for a new player.
As for Bailly, at 29 years of age, he still has time to turn his fortunes around and become a key player for a club with European ambitions. A move to back to Spain could be just what he needs, although much will depend on whether his luck with injuries improves.