On the latest episode of The Transfer Window, Duncan Castles has revealed that Manchester United defender Eric Bailly has performed a U-turn during contract negotiations with the club.
The Ivory Coast international has done well in recent weeks when selected by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, posting ratings of at least 6.95/10 in five of his last six appearances in all competitions (as per WhoScored), and the club opened talks to extend his contract, which expires in 2022.
However, despite talks initially progressing well, the centre-back has now decided his future lies elsewhere, and Castles disclosed the reasoning behind the sudden change of heart.
He said: “We reported recently that Manchester United had opened contract talks with Bailly, who has just over a year on his current deal remaining, end of this season he will go into his final season, and United have been trying to tie him down to a long-term contract.
“The likelihood was, the expectation was, that Bailly was going to accept that increase in pay and new contract at Manchester United until last week, when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer decided to leave Bailly out of the team to play Milan away in the Europa League.
“Bailly, I’m told, realised he was not going to be selected. He responded in what I’m told was a disrespectful manner to Solskjaer. Bailly himself, I think, has accepted that his behaviour was not appropriate and subsequently apologised to Solskjaer for what he did, and also, I’m told, apologised to his teammates for what he did.
“What hasn’t changed, however, I’m told, is his position on his treatment from Solskjaer, in that his analysis that he has not been getting a fair opportunity from the manager, and that the time has come to change things.”
TIF Thoughts on Bailly…
There’s been much speculation surrounding Solskjaer targeting a new centre-back partner for club captain Maguire to play alongside, as the Norwegian aims to propel United back to their former glory days.
Bailly has been unable to stay fit for long enough to prove he is the man to partner the England international at the heart of the defence in the long term, and his apparent desire to move in order to find first-team football is understandable.
On his day, Bailly is an excellent defender capable of playing at the highest level, it’s just that his body simply doesn’t seem to allow him to feature on a consistent basis.