Eric Bailly struggling to convince Marseille as centre-back closes in on Man United return

Manchester United have signed a centre-back in three of the last four summer transfer windows, with Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez currently holding down positions as Erik ten Hag’s go-to players.

Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof, favourites under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, have been demoted to roles on the bench whilst Luke Shaw has been used in that position on some occasions.

That leaves Eric Bailly as one of several centre-backs with bleak futures at the club and the Ivorian’s loan spell at French giants Marseille is not going according to plan either.

Earlier this year, the former Villarreal star was handed a whopping seven-game ban for a vicious tackle while playing for the Ligue 1 title hopefuls.

Now, there are more bad news for Bailly as French football expert Jonathan Johnson claims Marseille have not been convinced thus far and a permanent transfer seems unlikely at this point.

When it comes to Man United’s Eric Bailly, I am not sure he’s done anywhere near enough to convince them to take him permanently,” Johnson told CaughtOffside.

So if they are in a situation whereby they have to [sign him permanently] due to the clauses in his deal, I would expect them to look to offload him as soon as possible.

However, with that being said, given the performances he’s put in since he’s been at Marseille, I’m not sure there are going to be a lot of clubs lining up to take him, so it’s going to be interesting to see what happens with him over the next 12 months or so.”

Bailly’s season-long loan at Marseille included an obligation to buy if a set number of appearances was reached but considering he has made just seven appearances in Ligue 1, that is looking highly unlikely.

The 28-year-old has 18 months remaining on his contract at Old Trafford but with his performances failing to convince Marseille, he is now closing in on a return to United.

The expectation is that he will be assessed by Ten Hag during pre-season before a decision on his future is made – as was the case last summer when he featured regularly during United’s tour of Thailand and Australia.

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