Get up to date on Arsenal transfer news, injury updates, fixtures, not restricting reports on Arsenal Ladies and share your opinions on Goonerhead
Both Chelsea and Arsenal are keeping tabs on Eric Bailly after the centre-back lost his place in Manchester United’s squad, according to reports. The Ivory Coast international was omitted entirely from the 18-man squads that took on both Arsenal and West Brom, while he has not made an appearance since the Manchester derby at the start of April. Bailly was also absent from United’s end of season awards night, apparently due to a dental problem, while Mourinho moved to play down any rumours of a falling out.
Nevertheless, ESPN report that Premier League rivals Chelsea and Arsenal are keeping a very close eye on how Bailly’s situation develops. Both teams want defensive reinforcements this summer, though Bailly’s preference would be to remain at Old Trafford and win back his place in the side.
Ahead of facing Brighton on Friday night, Mourinho explained that Bailly’s absence owes to Ivory Coast’s failure to qualify for the World Cup, and he is keen to give other players the chance to hit form or win a place. The Portuguese said: There’s no situation, is fine, no injury, is one of our five central defenders.
‘Honestly my work is not about World Cups and preparing players for the World Cup or giving chances to players at the World Cup but he’s the only central defender whose country is not in the World Cup. ‘So if I have to make a kind of more emotional effective choice to help my players he’s the one I’m not going to help.’