Manchester United have reportedly placed a £30 million price tag on out-of-favour defender Eric Bailly, who is a summer target for Arsenal.
If the exclusive report by Metro is to be believed, Manchester United are open to the idea of letting Eric Bailly join a rival club in the summer transfer window. Arsenal are interested in signing the Ivory Coast international, but will have shell out £30 million to secure his services.
Eric Bailly joined Manchester United from Villarreal as Jose Mourinho’s first signing in the summer of 2016, when not much was known of him to the general football fan. But, he was hugely impressive in his maiden campaign at Old Trafford, having quickly become a regular at the back with his dogged performance and no-nonsense style of defender.
Since then, however, injuries coupled with poor form have taken their toll on the defender, who has gone sliding down the pecking order at Manchester United. The latest fitness trouble has come in the form of a knee injury and such problems have meant that he has not had the chance to impress current manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer either.
The fall in stature has ultimately meant that Bailly has become ripe for the taking in the transfer market, especially with Manchester United believed to be keen on signing a centre-back. And, Arsenal are among the clubs that are showing an interest in the 25-year-old.
The Gunners did sign a centre-back last summer in Sokratis Papastathopoulos. And, while the Greek defender has perhaps been Arsenal’s best performer at the back this term, the fact that he is 30 means that he is only a short-term solution for Unai Emery.
Add to it, the fact that Laurent Koscielny is also in the twilight of his career coupled with Shkodran Mustafi becoming a liability, and it is clear why Arsenal once again want to sign a central defender this summer. Bailly is thus, a viable target for the North Londoners, despite his recent troubles at Manchester United.
At 25, the Ivorian has the best years ahead of him and already valuable experience in the Premier League, which would help him forge a long-term partnership with the likes of Rob Holding and Konstantinos Mavropanos. But, Arsenal will have to meet Manchester United’s £30 million valuation of the player to land him.
The aforementioned sum will put a huge dent in the Gunners’ reported transfer budget, although if they are able to raise money through player sales, apart from adding £25 million by qualifying for next season’s Champions League, a £30 million could well be formulated.
Injury problems notwithstanding, pursuing a £30 million move for Eric Bailly could make a great deal of sense for Arsenal, who can most certainly do with a solid addition at the back, considering their frailties. Whether they do launch the offensive for the Manchester United defender remains to be seen.