EPL Transfer Rumours: Jose Mourinho close to completing his first signing at Manchester United
Manchester United are looking to sign a couple of defenders this summer, with a number of high profile names being linked to the Premier League giants, it seems they’re close to signing young defender Eric Bailly.
According to Spanish radio channel Cadena SER, Manchester United are close to signing the 22-year-old from La Liga side Villarreal. Cadena SER reckon Jose Mourinho has made a special request to Manchester United to sign the Ivorian international, and the transfer is in it’s final phase.
According to another Spanish website AS, Bailly is said to have a release clause of £31.3m in his contract, but Manchester United have not activated his release clause.
It is reported Manchester United have instead opted to pay an amount close to his release clause plus bonuses in instalments and the final figure could surpass the sum of £31.3m. Bailly’s representatives will now negotiate personal terms with Manchester United, before he undergoes medical examination.
Jose Mourinho has often preferred working with young defenders, and it seems Bailly could be the next one on his list, after having signed Raphael Varane at Real Madrid, and Kurt Zouma at Chelsea.
Barcelona also interested in Bailly
Earlier, reports in the Catalan media suggested Bailly was also a transfer target for Barcelona, and AS have confirmed Premier League champions Leicester City were also in the race to sign the young centre-back. The Ivorian defender arrived in Spain in 2011, and since then has established himself as one of the best young defenders in the league.
Bailly started his career at Espanyol before signing for Villareal in a €5.7m deal. The player has enjoyed a breakthrough season, as he helped Villareal to qualify for the Champions League.
He doesn’t shy away from a tackle and is also confident on the ball, although his disciplinary record is not really good, as he collected 9 bookings and was sent-off once in 25 league games this season.
The player is still very young for a defender, and will only progress under someone like Jose Mourinho, who will be hoping to get the best out of him.
Bailly is also physically strong and demanding in the air, something that is very much needed from any centre-back in the Premier League and can also play in both full-back positions.
With the appointment of Jose Mourinho earlier this week, it seems Manchester United are now keen on getting some of their signings done early in the transfer window and Bailly could very well be Jose Mourinho’s first signing at Old Trafford.