Manchester United defender Eric Bailly has signed a two-year contract extension, which will keep him at the club until the end of the 2021/22 season.
The 25-year old joined United for £30million from Villarreal in 2016 on a four-year contract with the option of an additional two years. The defender will be out of contract at the end of the season but United have chosen to trigger the option to extend his contract after the Ivory Coast international made a return to action following a serious knee injury suffered in pre-season.
Bailly has faced various injuries since joining the club three-and-a-half years which as made him become increasingly injury-prone. He has only started 66 times for United, 37 of them in his debut campaign. The defender has started five United games in 2019 and has not played any competitive games this season due to a knee injury which ruled him out of matches for over five months. He, however, featured for the Under-23s in their 2-1 win over Newcastle United last week.
However, this news may come as a surprise to Man United fans as the centre-back has not been exceptional since coming to Old Trafford. It also suggests that Bailly is still viewed as an important part of the squad but the club still needs to get another defender despite paying an eye-watering £80m for Harry Maguire last summer.
Speaking to reporters during his pre-match press conference on Friday, Red Devils boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said that Bailly could even be involved for their Premier League trip to rivals Liverpool on Sunday. He added that the defender could make his first-team comeback in the fourth round of the FA Cup against either Watford or Tranmere on January 26.
“He’s very close, he might be back for the weekend,” Solskjaer said.
“We’ve got a game arranged today with the reserves, so he’ll play that one.
“Hopefully he’ll get 90 minutes, because he didn’t feel any after-effects from the game on Friday so he might be ready for Liverpool.”