Manchester United defender Eric Bailly is reportedly closing in on a transfer to Serie A giants AS Roma, where he will be reunited with Jose Mourinho.
According to Calciomercato, Manchester United and AS Roma are close to finalising a deal that will see Eric Bailly move to Stadio Olimpico on loan with an option to buy set at €8 million.
Eric Bailly joined Manchester United in the summer of 2016 from Villarreal, becoming the first signing of the Jose Mourinho era at Old Trafford. The Ivory Coast international started brightly in England but has been hampered by constant injury issues throughout his stint at the Theatre of Dreams, preventing him from establishing himself as a permanent fixture in the side.
Bailly has fallen behind the likes of Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof and Raphael Varane in the pecking order at Manchester United. He played just seven times in all competitions last season. And with the club also signing Lisandro Martinez from AFC Ajax earlier this summer, the 28-year-old’s time at Old Trafford seems to be up. and a move away is certainly on the cards.
Newly-promoted Premier League club Fulham are reportedly interested in Bailly and have even made an offer to secure his services. The 28-year-old was also courting interest from the likes of AC Milan and Sevilla. But it looks like the centre-back is set for a reunion with former Manchester United manager Mourinho at AS Roma.
The Portuguese tactician guided the Giallorossi to the UEFA Europa Conference League triumph last season and is building his team to mount a Serie A title challenge this season. And Mourinho and Roma director Tiago Pinto see the Manchester United centre-back department as an area that can use reinforcements and have identified Bailly as a target.
Talks between the two clubs had opened recently, and according to the latest update from Calciomercato, they are on the verge of finalising an agreement that will see Bailly join Roma on an initial loan deal with an option to make the transfer permanent for a fee of €8 million. Should the move be completed, he will become the second Manchester United player to join the Serie A giants, after Nemanja Matic.
The 28-year-old still has two years left on his contract with Manchester United, but given his standing in the squad at the moment, an exit makes sense for all parties involved. Bailly will hope to follow in the footsteps of Chris Smalling, who revived his career in Serie A after leaving Manchester United for AS Roma a few years ago.
Bailly is a better defender than Lindelof, although injuries have resulted in Lindeolf being preferred option – his occasional mad moment has also gone against him.
However, United are being taken for a ride if they proceed with this deal.
1. Roma have taken several players on loan this Summer and if they cannot afford him this year, will not be able to complete the purchase next year.
2. At 8, million Euro’s Roma are stealing him.
3. A loan deal, presumably with no fee (after all they can buy for 8 million Euro’s)
4. Are Roma paying all his wages?
United are better to accept the deal from Fulham or Sevilla who want to buy Bailly outright.