The centre-back has struggled for playing time this season but is confident that should improve
Eric Bailly has signed a new Manchester United contract to stay at Old Trafford until 2024, with the option of a further year.
The centre-back has struggled for starts this season and, with just one year left on his current deal, his representatives had been alerted to interest from other clubs.
However, after discussions with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and United, the 27-year-old feels more confident he will be given a role to play and has now committed his future to the Red Devils.
What has Bailly said?
“I’m very happy,” Bailly told the club’s official website. “This decision is something I didn’t have to think about, I love this club and I love playing for Manchester United. I’m happy and so are my family, everything is good.
“Now the moment with my injury has passed and I’m fit and feel good, and that’s it. A new contract is like a new challenge and I’m ready for this.
“For me, it’s the dream to be here. Now it’s my fifth season and I hope to be here a long time.
“We are in a good position. We have the Europa League and we are second in the league and that is very good. We hope we can win this trophy [Europa League] – it is very important for us and for the fans and for the season. We want to finish well in the Premier League as well, I’m sure we will.”
What has Solskjaer said?
Solskjaer said: “I am pleased that Eric has signed this new contract. He is still learning and improving all of the time under the coaches here.
“Eric has improved his robustness since my time as manager and he will continue to play a significant part in the squad.
“He possesses fantastic speed, timing of tackle and has that aggression which, of course, you need as a centre-back. He is a popular member of the squad and we look forward to continuing to work with him going forward.”
When did Bailly join Man Utd?
The Ivorian joined from Villareal in the summer of 2016 and signed an extension in January 2020 to keep him at the club until the end of the 2021-22 campaign.
Bailly has only made 15 appearances for United this season with various injuries and, most recently, Covid-19 keeping him sidelined behind first-choice pairing Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire.
He has made 100 appearances in all competitions, a number which no doubt would have been higher had he not suffered serious injuries in that time.
What does Bailly’s new contract mean?
A centre-back has been on Solskjaer’s summer transfer target list for a while, with the club keeping tabs on a number of different players ahead of the window opening. It is also understood they are keen on signing a centre-forward.
Should Edinson Cavani decide to leave, the need for a forward will be further exacerbated and, with Bailly staying and United keeping more clean sheets, the need for another centre-half may not be as pressing.
When asked about progress after the draw against Leeds, Solskjaer said ‘an additional two’ will help to keep his team pushing up the table. United are expected to be active in the summer window but budgets are still constrained due to Covid.