Manchester United are reportedly set to exercise their contract renewal clause in injury-hit ace Eric Bailly’s deal.

According to a report by The Sun, Manchester United are looking to trigger their option to extend Eric Bailly’s contract, which can be renewed by a year twice. The Ivory Coast international is in the final year of his deal with the Premier League heavyweights.

Eric Bailly arrived at Manchester United a relative unknown from Villarreal in the summer of 2016. In his first season with the Red Devils, the player was might impressive, putting up a solid front at the back till a knee injury derailed his campaign.

Since the strong debut season at Old Trafford, he has been unable to match those highs, with injuries constantly playing a spoilsport. In fact, since the start of the 2017-18 season, Bailly has managed to start just 29 games across all competitions, becoming a peripheral figure, first under Jose Mourinho and then after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took over at the helm.

Bailly is currently sidelined with a knee injury. (Photo by Will Russell/Getty Images)

Bailly is currently sidelined with a knee injury. (Photo by Will Russell/Getty Images)

The drop in stature meant Bailly was linked with a move away from Manchester United in the summer transfer window. AC Milan were among the clubs that were linked with him, before a knee injury sidelined him and scuppered chances of a departure.

Now though, with the 25-year-old’s contract at Old Trafford set to run out after the end of the current season, Manchester United are eager to tie him down to a new deal, lest they run the risk of losing him for free. But, The Sun claim that United are instead set to exercise a contract extension clause in Bailly’s deal.

The report suggests that the Premier League heavyweights have the option to extend his deal by a year twice. Extending his deal then gives Manchester United control over his valuation, although The Sun report that they will only take a call on a possible sale after monitoring his progress once he returns from his knee injury.

Bailly is expected to resume rehabilitation imminently and a return could be on the cards around the turn of the year. For now, however, it looks as if Manchester United are set to extend Bailly’s stay by triggering their option to add another year to his deal.

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