West Ham United ‘have made contact’ with Manchester United over centre-back Eric Bailly, according to The Athletic’s Laurie Whitwell.
West Ham have spent a fraction over £100million on five new signings this summer – centre forward Gianluca Scamacca, centre-back Nayef Aguerd, left winger Maxwel Cornet, central midfielder Flynn Downes and goalkeeper Alphonse Areola.
Bailly, 28, has yet to feature for United in 2022/23 and only started three Premier League games last season.
The former Villarreal man has two years left on a contract that’s worth £80,000 per week.
Whitwell wrote on Twitter that ‘clubs [are] progressing talks on taking Eric Bailly’, with West Ham now in touch.
Ligue 1 outfits Marseille and Monaco are also interested in the Ivorian.
However, Bailly’s wages are so high that suitors would prefer Man. United to cover part of his wages as part of a loan deal.
And the Red Devils would prefer to offload him permanently, clearing themselves of obligation completely.
As a result, the transfer ‘could go to [the] deadline’ in just over a fortnight’s time.
Bailly would bring pedigree to the London Stadium, having featured in the IFFHS CAF Team of the Decade alongside the likes of Kalidou Koulibaly, Yaya Toure and Mohamed Salah.
He’s a defender who can sometimes adopt a slightly unorthodox style, though.
Indeed, The Daily Mail noted that he drew comparisons to Spiderman for his unconventional techniques in a 1-1 Champions League draw with Young Boys last season.
It will be interesting to see how his situation evolves in the next two weeks.
Will he show a willingness to take a pay cut to facilitate a permanent transfer? Will United loan him out to at least reduce their salary payments? This could be one to watch for a dramatic late deal on September 1.
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