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AC Milan still interested in Man Utd defender Eric Bailly

AC Milan remain interested in signing Manchester United defender Eric Bailly this month, Italian publication Gazzetta dello Sport (today’s edition, page 6) claims.

The Ivorian is currently the fourth-choice centre-back at the Red Devils with Harry Maguire, Raphael Varane and Victor Lindelof ahead of him in the pecking order.

His playing time may not improve during the back end of the campaign, leading to suggestions that he would fancy a temporary move to San Siro.

It is now reported that ‘contacts’ are continuing between the clubs, but Milan face an ‘uphill’ task of landing Bailly. Talks ‘have not been shelved’ but a deal seems highly ‘complicated’.

Our view:

Bailly signed a new long-term deal in April last year with the assurance that he would become a regular feature in the starting line-up.

However, that has hardly been the case. The arrival of Varane last summer has pretty much made him a squad player.

The 27-year-old has played less than 500 minutes of first-team football this term, and things may not improve on his return from international duty.

With Phil Jones back to full fitness, United now have another option to provide back-up. He recently earned praise from Ralf Rangnick.

A winter departure for Bailly can not be ruled out, but it appears unlikely at the moment with United yet to give the green light.

Ralf Rangnick may not welcome the prospect of losing the centre-back with injuries and coronavirus threat still looming.

Bailly was called up for league action last month when Lindelof was out with COVID-19 while Varane was short of match fitness.

While United could afford to lose Anthony Martial or Jesse Lingard in attack, they don’t have similar surplus options in central defence.

Rangnick would rather be open to parting ways with Jones over Bailly. The former has played just one competitive game in over 700 days.

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