Villarreal are eyeing a sensational return for Eric Bailly, who might be set for a move away from Manchester United this summer.

According to El Gol Digital, Manchester United are bracing themselves for the potential departure of Eric Bailly. The defender faces an uncertain future at Old Trafford as the Premier League giants close in on the capture of Raphael Varane. The whole situation is being monitored by Villarreal, who are eyeing a return for the Ivorian centre-back.

Recent reports suggest Varane has agreed to a five-year deal with United over a move to Old Trafford. It should play a critical role in convincing Bailly to leave the club, knowing he will find himself trailing others in the pecking order next season.

A native of Bingerville, in Ivory Coast, Bailly spent 18 months at Villarreal from Jan 2015 to July 2016. It was with the Yellow Submarines when the centre-back enjoyed his rapid rise to prominence. He became a first-team regular under Marcelino, helping the club reach the UEFA Europe League semi-final during the 2015/16 campaign.

Bailly’s tremendous season was followed by a big-money move to Manchester United in the summer of 2016. Since then, the Ivorian’s progress has been marred by injuries and lack of game-time. He has failed to muster over 1,000 minutes of league football in four of his five seasons at Old Trafford.

Is Bailly set to leave Manchester United? (Photo by Will Russell/Getty Images)

Is Bailly set to leave Manchester United? (Photo by Will Russell/Getty Images)

In the current setup, the former Espanyol star has fallen behind Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire in the pecking order. The situation could get even worse should Manchester United manage to secure the deal for Varane.

Either way, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer appears to be keen on signing a new defender who can accompany Maguire next season. A return to Villarreal seems to be a wise move for the centre-back, who is still renowned for his physical prowess and game-reading abilities.

Should Manchester United cash in on Eric Bailly this summer? | THT Opinions

The Spanish giants have recently been boosted by positive news surrounding the future of former Manchester United target Pau Torres. The addition of someone like Bailly should further improve the defensive ranks for Unai Emery, especially with veteran centre-back Raul Albiol in the final phase of his career.

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