Eric Bailly has threatened to leave Manchester United if he doesn’t get enough game time in the future.
The Ivorian gave a bold response to a question in an interview with The Times – after recently renewing his contract, signing a deal that will last until 2024.
There is no denying that Bailly has had his injury problems, which has made it difficult for him to be a consistent first-choice option for the centre-back position.
On top of that, there’s a chance he won’t make the starting eleven for tonight’s Europa League final. Even with Harry Maguire likely to be ruled out.
The Times, however, quote Bailly as saying: “Before signing the contract I wanted to be clear about my future in the team. If I’m going to get minutes and if I’m going to be OK, because I’m aware that I’ve had a lot of injuries.
“But I’m back and I feel strong and fit. I think I can be at the level that a top club like Manchester United requires.
“I spoke to him [Solskjaer] and he told me he wanted me to stay. The most important thing was not the renewal but the conversation we had: we sat down, we talked and he told me what he wanted from me and that he wanted me to continue.
“Competition is always good to improve. I just say that I want to stay in case I get the chance to play. I don’t want to be a starter one game and a substitute for another five.
“If that happens I will have to look for another solution. The new contract is fine but if I don’t play I will be open to listen to other proposals.”
I can understand where Bailly is coming from – but the timing of this interview is odd when everyone knows that the manager already has a headache over who will start between the sticks.
This could add more pressure as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer names his team tonight and I’ve seen enough to believe he can cope with it. The manager has thick skin.