Soccer

Man Utd set timeline on Eric Bailly transfer as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer eyes two players

Man Utd: Eric Bailly flies in with two feet in training

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Manchester United star Eric Bailly could be sold in the summer transfer window, according to reports. The Ivory Coast international has been plagued with issues throughout his time at the club. And Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could cut him loose amid interest in Sevilla’s Jules Kounde and Everton youngster Jarrad Branthwaite.

United have seen Bailly impress when called upon this season.

While he’s often behind the likes of Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof in the Old Trafford pecking order, he’s done well when given the chance to start.

However, the Daily Mail suggest his time at United could be drawing to a close.

It’s claimed Bailly, who has been at the club ever since arriving from Villarreal in the summer transfer window of 2016, will have his situation assessed at the end of the campaign.

There’s been talk of a move back to Spain but the Red Devils, it seems, are willing to be patient in order to ensure the centre-back gets back to his best.

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And it’s a similar story with Axel Tuanzebe.

The defender is liked by Solskjaer but, like Bailly, has been struck with injury issues throughout his career at the Theatre of Dreams.

United are, however, planning to sign a new centre-back regardless of what happens with the pair.

They’ve extensively scouted Sevilla star Kounde, who is widely regarded as one of the best young defenders in world football.

And Everton youngster Branthwaite is also on their radar, with the teenager sparkling on loan in the Championship with Blackburn Rovers.

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Meanwhile, United legend Paul Parker recently opened up on the club’s current defenders – and took aim at Harry Maguire for his inconsistent displays.

“Despite the position that Manchester United find themselves in the Premier League, they still need to strengthen in the transfer market this summer,” Parker told The Sun.

“Regarding the centre-backs, people talk about bringing in a new partner for Harry Maguire, but I would look at bringing in two centre-backs, why can’t it be a player who comes in and plays alongside Victor Lindelof?

“Harry Maguire is not a leader, he plays the game for himself, he sits way too deep, he dribbles for the sake of dribbling and runs himself into cul-de-sacs.

“The goal against Sheffield United, he put David De Gea in a terrible position, and he made a terrible clearance which people then blamed the goalkeeper.”

He then added: “Sometimes you need to look at the build-up to see the mistakes.

“I have always been unsure about Maguire since the day Manchester United signed him. When they paid £80m, the club didn’t buy an £80m centre back, it was great business by Leicester.

“Despite the position that Manchester United find themselves in the Premier League, they still need to strengthen in the transfer market this summer.

“Bringing in competition for places always helps players to improve their game. You look at Luke Shaw this season, he has really upped his game since the signing of Alex Telles.”

Bailly could start when United lock horns with Newcastle on Sunday.

The Red Devils will go into the game on a high after a 4-0 thumping of Real Sociedad in the Europa League on Thursday night.

However, their form in the Premier League has been mixed.

United were held to a 1-1 draw with West Brom last time out, in a result that has all but ended their hopes of title glory.

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