Antonio Conte is reportedly interested in bringing Manchester United star Eric Bailly to Tottenham despite his terrible injury history and lack of game time.
According to Duncan Castles on the Transfer Window podcast (h/t Express), Antonio Conte is keen on signing Eric Bailly to improve his backline. The Tottenham boss wants to sign two first-team centre-backs, with the Manchester United star among his preferred options.
Eric Bailly has been a good defender for Manchester United whenever he has played. His time at the club became known more for niggling, persistent injury problems than for his performances on the pitch, where he has been effective for most parts.
Those fitness issues have continued to haunt him into the current season. Bailly has featured only for 45 minutes in the current Premier League campaign, that too during the club’s ill-fated first-half performance against Liverpool at home.
His position under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was way behind in the pecking order, with Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire and Raphael Varane all ahead of him. Manchester United did renew his contract in the summer, tying him down until 2024 with the option of an extra year. The move was more to protect the value of the player than anything.
Now, Tottenham are reportedly interested in the defender, as Antonio Conte eyes at least two centre-backs to shore up his backline. Among the current options, only Cristian Romero is considered a sure starter under the Italian, who regularly plays with a back three.
The idea of signing Bailly seems baffling, given Conte might want a player who can be relied upon to play a consistent number of games in a season. The Ivorian’s terrible injury record suggests otherwise, and it won’t be a move that will please the Spurs faithful.
Tottenham have been linked with various other centre-backs in recent weeks, mostly from Serie A. Stefan de Vrij from Inter Milan is one of the names on their radars. Fenerbahce’s Kim Min-Jae is another defender linked with a move to Spurs. From the many stories that circulate, Conte clearly wants central defenders as a priority, although it remains to be seen who he ends up signing.
As for the interest in Bailly, his injury record would obviously be a major concern for Tottenham. But, if he manages to stay fit for prolonged periods, the Ivorian international can be a reliable option to have in the squad. Whether Conte & co. decide to sign him remains to be seen.
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