Manchester United in talks to sign Villareal’s Eric Bailly

by Sam Peoples

Manchester United are in advanced talks with Villareal over defender Eric Bailly according to AS.com in Spain and are set to complete the signing in the ‘coming hours’.

Sky Sports have picked up on the reports and say the 22-year-old is the subject of fierce interest from not only United but Barcelona, Paris St Germain and Manchester City as well.

Jose Mourinho is making some serious noise in the transfer window with Man United ahead of Euro 2016 and Bailly’s absence from Gabon’s international friendly with the Ivory Coast has helped fuel the Bailly rumours even more.

At 22, Bailly is already an established starter for Villareal and played 37 games for them this season including the 1-0 win over Liverpool in the Europa League. So, he’s got a lot of calibre for a player who is relatively young.

United’s problem in defence is obvious for any fan to see – Daley Blind, as good as he has been there, isn’t a centre-back and needs to be pushed back into midfield as soon as possible. Chris Smalling is an excellent defender but he needs a more mobile defensive partner in order to build a top quality partnership which is exactly what Bailly is.

Do we know much about him? Not at all. Is this the first time we’ve heard his name being linked to United? Definitely, but as Anthony Martial showed last summer, sometimes it’s the unexpected signings which turn out to be the most fruitful.

Unfortunately, the Spanish phrase using the phrase ‘in the coming hours’ tends to be somewhat overused but we’ll keep an eye on the Bailly story and how it develops.

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