Eric Bailly chatted with former Manchester United winger before moving to Turkey

Eric Bailly has revealed that former Manchester United winger Wilfried Zaha tried to persuade him to join Galatasaray before the defender finally left Old Trafford for Turkish rivals Besiktas.

Zaha completed his switch from Crystal Palace to Galatasaray earlier this summer, and it sounds like he wanted Bailly to join him at Rams Park.

Speaking to Sporx, Bailly said: “I spoke to Zaha before I came here, I knew he was going to Galatasaray. And he wanted to bring me to Galatasaray.

“I talk more with (fellow Ivorian Didier) Zokora, who worked with Senol Gunes [Besiktas manager] at Trabzonspor. He told me very nice things about Senol Gunes.

“When I talked to Gunes afterwards, I felt confident. That’s why I chose this place. I’ve always heard good things about him.

“I saw Fred, with whom I previously played at Manchester United, go to Fenerbahce. And Zaha was also a player I played with. Playing here will be a different experience for me.”

United had Bailly on the ‘for sale’ list all summer after spending the centre-back to Marseille on loan last summer. It has been clear from day one — under Erik ten Hag — that the Ivorian was not part of the manager’s plans.

Bailly, 29, has had his problems with injuries down the years. He will hope for better luck on that front after completing his switch to Besiktas on a free transfer last week.

United fans will get a chance to welcome Zaha back to Old Trafford when Galatasaray visit in the Champions League group stages, but I think most of us are happy to have Bailly off the wage books.

We still wish Bailly well during his time at Besiktas and the rest of his career.

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