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Arsenal and Tottenham are eyeing an audacious January swoop to sign Eric Bailly as the out-of-favour centre-back considers his future at Manchester United, according to the Mirror.
Bailly came through the youth ranks at Espanyol having joined the club as a teenager but developed in to one of the most exciting young defenders in Europe during a short stint at Villarreal that earned him a £30m move to Old Trafford in the summer of 2016.
The Ivory Coast international enjoyed an encouraging start to life in England as he was excellent during the 2016/17 season but he was hampered by a number of injury problems last campaign and has found himself relegated to the substitutes bench by Jose Mourinho in recent weeks.
Bailly was axed for the squad against Tottenham late last month following a disappointing defeat at Brighton and has been used as a late substitute in each of United’s last two matches against Burnley and Watford.
The Mirror claim the 24-year-old is now considering his future at Old Trafford and may be forced to push for a move in January if he continues to be frozen out of the first team by Mourinho over the coming months.
There would be no shortage of interest as Bailly is still considered to be one of the best young centre-backs around and the newspaper says Arsenal and Tottenham have been put on high alert to his situation.
The Mirror says the north London duo are keen on signing Bailly if he makes it clear he wants a new challenge and will continue to monitor developments ahead of the winter transfer window.
Unai Emery signed Sokratis this summer but Arsenal continue to have problems at the back as they’ve already conceded 9 goals in 5 Premier League games so far this season so Bailly could be viewed as the man to solve their issues in defence.
Tottenham have had one of the best defensive records in the league in recent years but Toby Alderweireld is expected to leave either in January or next summer after failing to agree terms over a new contract so Mauricio Pochettino could view Bailly as the ideal replacement.
We’ll have to wait and see how things develop but while Bailly would be an excellent signing for Arsenal or Tottenham, it remains to be seen whether Man Utd would be willing to do business with their rivals.