Arsenal are reportedly looking to revamp their defence and Unai Emery is eyeing a cut-price summer deal to sign Manchester United centre-back Eric Bailly.
If the report from The Sun is to be believed, Arsenal have reignited their interest in Eric Bailly. The Ivorian is currently out of favour at Manchester United and Unai Emery believes he can strengthen his defence with the centre-back for a cut-price fee in the summer transfer window.
Eric Bailly arrived in 2016 from Villarreal and was an instant hit at Old Trafford, with the defender proving to be the rugged and aggressive yet technically adept centre-back that Jose Mourinho needed at Manchester United. But, the second season was a rather disappointing one as he was restricted to a squad rotation role towards the end of the 2017-18 campaign.
The 2018-19 season has seen Eric Bailly’s United career take a turn for the worse, with inconsistent performances causing Mourinho to drop the player. Under Solskjaer, he has continued to blow hot and cold, which has seen the Ivorian cut a frustrated figure on United’s bench. Whenever the former United player has provided Bailly with chances, he has failed to impress.
And with Manchester United looking to reinforce the central defence in the summer, Bailly seems to have one foot out the door. While Bailly was previously linked with Arsenal in January and with a return to Spain, it seems the Gunners have renewed their interest in the Ivorian.
Arsenal have seen Sokratis become a regular member of the starting eleven. But, the other centre-backs have failed to impress Unai Emery, with the Spaniard’s preferred choice from other centre-backs, Shkodran Mustafi, costing his side again with his lack of judgement in the defeat to Crystal Palace.
Emery is expecting a similarly tightened purse for the summer transfer window, which has caused him to evaluate his targets and renew his interest in Eric Bailly. The Ivorian has proven himself to be a defender capable of handling the rigours of the Premier League and perhaps, is just devoid of confidence at this point of time.
With Bailly not receiving playing time at Manchester United, who are likely to offload the player in the summer, Emery believes he can get the Ivorian in for £20 million, a fee that could prove to be a bargain, should the defender manage to rediscover his 2016 form.
Emery is aware of Bailly’s abilities from his own time in La Liga and is likely to move for the Ivorian, should Manchester United be ready to negotiate the player’s potential departure to a rival like Arsenal. Emirates or not, Eric Bailly is likely to find a new home soon, something that would be good for both him and his current employers.