Manchester United centre-back Eric Bailly has been tipped to seek clarification from the club over his role at Old Trafford following the agreement to sign Raphael Varane from Real Madrid.
United have announced that a deal has been agreed with Real to sign Varane, subject to the formalities of a medical and finer details, with the four-time Champions League winner to become Harry Maguire’s partner at the heart of the defence.
The Frenchman’s arrival will relegate Victor Lindelof to a back-up role, while it has similar implications for Bailly, who already spent much of last season on the bench when fit.
United also still have Phil Jones, Axel Tuanzebe and Teden Mengi in the first-team squad.
ESPN writes that Bailly is concerned about his playing time being even further limited. The 27-year-old only signed a new contract at Old Trafford in April but it is said that negotiations surrounding that deal were heavily focused on his playing prospects.
Bailly was clearly satisfied with the assurances he was offered at that time, although the opportunism that has enabled United to land Varane has seemingly thrown a spanner in the works.
Speaking in May, Bailly fired a public warning to United that he isn’t prepared to accept a back-up role and, despite his new contract, will listen to offers if that is to be the case.
“Competition is always good to improve. I just say that I want to stay in case I get the chance to play. I don’t want to be a starter one game and a substitute for another five. If that happens, I will have to look for another solution,” the Ivory Coast international explained at the time.
“The new contract is fine but, if I don’t play, I will be open to listen to other proposals.”
ESPN notes that United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants to have four established centre-backs in his squad, which would still make Bailly a key asset as several others could leave.
Jones hasn’t played since January 2020 because of troubling knee problems and 90min revealed earlier this month the club is considering letting him leave for free, while Tuanzebe has been linked with Newcastle to get more playing time, and Mengi is wanted by Championship clubs on loan.